Tag Archives: Mexico

In Show Of Unity, North American Leaders Push For LGBTQ Rights

Canada, the United States and Mexico are expected to pledge to do more to protect LGBTQ rights both in North America and abroad.

According to the Torstar News Service, senior Canadian sources (unable to speak on the record while negotiations are continuing) say the three countries are working to include a call for greater protection for LGBTQ rights in the three leaders’ joint statement.

The push comes after the deadliest mass shooting in American history, when a gunman murdered 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando earlier this month.

It also comes as Mexican President, Enrique Peno Nieto, moves forward with legislation to legalize same-sex marriage across his country.

Recognizing LGBTQ rights has been a “significant” conversation with the Mexican delegation, sources told Torstar.

Another source said the issue was discussed both officially, as well as on the margins of a state dinner thrown for Pena Nieto at Rideau Hall Tuesday night.

The Mexican delegation was not immediately available for comment.

Speaking on the International Day Against Homophobia in May, Pena Nieto said he wants to amend the constitution to allow-same sex marriage nation-wide.

Some jurisdictions in Mexico, including Mexico City, already have equal marriage rights.

The initiative has been opposed by Mexico’s Catholic church. Rev. Hugo Valdemar, a spokesperson for the Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico City, told the Associated Press in May that legislators should listen to their “conscience.”

The Mexican president has also faced pressure on his four-day visit to Canada over his country’s human rights record.

Amnesty International has urged Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, to raise human rights issues, particularly violence against women, in bilateral talks with Pena Nieto.

Trudeau is set to become the first Canadian prime minister to march in Toronto’s Pride parade this weekend.

Early in their mandate, his government made a few gestures towards Canada’s LGBTQ community, including raising the Pride flag on Parliament Hill, and they introduced legislation to extend human rights protections for transgender Canadians.

President Barack Obama has also earned praise from rights advocates. Over the course of his presidency, Obama oversaw the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell on service by gays and lesbians in the military, appointed a number of LGBTQ judges and ambassadors, and extended hate crime laws, according to advocacy group Human Rights Campaign.

The Mexican Supreme Court Strikes Down Same-Sex Adoption Ban

In a nine votes to one ruling, Mexico’s Supreme Court has ruled that banning same-sex couples from adopting children is unconstitutional.

Justices struck down a same-sex adoption ban in the southern state of Campeche. The human rights commission, who argued this law violated constitutional rights to non-discrimination and form families, filed the challenge to a law passed in 2013.

The decision ruled that the ban was unconstitutional.

Presiding judge, Luis Maria Aguila, said the decision was made bearing in mind the need to protect children being adopted.

I see no problem for a child to be adopted in a society of co-existence, which has precisely this purpose. Are we going to prefer to have children in the street, which according to statistics exceed 100,000? We attend, of course, and perhaps with the same intensity or more, to the interests of the child.”

Eduardo Medina Mora was the only supreme court judge to vote against the ruling – he argued that the interest of the child, rather than the adopting couple, should be key.

The same court in June ruled that Mexico’s state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, effectively legalising it.

Mexico’s Supreme Court Effectively Legalises Same-Sex Marriage

The Supreme Court in Mexico has legalised same-sex marriage in a landmark legal ruling.

However, the country doesn’t have equal marriage rights just yet.

A court has decreed that it is unconstitutional for Mexican states to bar same-sex marriages.

As the purpose of matrimony is not procreation, there is no justified reason that the matrimonial union be heterosexual, nor that it be stated as between only a man and only a woman. Such a statement turns out to be discriminatory in its mere expression.”

Whilst no official legislation has been brought forward in parliament to introduce marriage for gay and bisexual couples, the court ruling represents a precedent that will require courts throughout the country to follow suit.

This means that same-sex marriage has effectively been legalised throughout Mexico.

Estefanía Vela, a legal scholar at a Mexico City university told the New York Times of the ruling:

Without a doubt, gay marriage is legal everywhere. If a same-sex couple comes along and the code says marriage is between a man and a woman and for the purposes of reproduction, the court says, ‘Ignore it, marriage is for two people’.”

However, same-sex couples might still run into a few snags because local registrars are not required to follow this ruling; however gay couples denied marriage rights in their states are able to seek injunctions from district judges since the jurisprudential thesis now requires the judges to grant them.

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as just ignoring the discriminatory code or the local registrar. Even though judges are now required to provide marriage licenses, if a registrar denies a same-sex couple, it is up to that couple to appeal the courts.

That process can cost $1,000 or more and the legal process can take months. While this means marriage is not 100% equal, the recent ruling in Mexico is definitely a step in the right direction.

A number of Latin American countries have allowed same-sex marriage in recent years. Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay have already done so, whilst Chile and Ecuador are set to do so in the near future.

Mexican Company Airs TV Advert with Lesbian Couple and their Kids

Segundamano Mexico –  an online secondhand store in Mexico – aired a television ad with lesbian couple and their children.

In the ad the women, holding their two young kids surrounded by toys and furniture, say

It was the two of us, and then we thought why not be more? So now we are four.”

An off camera voice asks them what they bought on the site and they answer beds for the children, dressers for the children, etc. The ad ends by encouraging others to follow their example and get things they need for their families on the site.

The couple in the ad are a real couple, who were married in Spain, but live in Mexico.


Much like the US, is a patchwork when it comes to recognising familias diversas, so is Mexico.

Antonio Medina, a Mexican journalist, will be writing about the significance of the ad in Proceso Magazine, a weekly news magazine with a wide readership.

Mexico Could Have Nationwide Marriage Equality Soon

In the United Kingdom, it would seem unusual if parliament voted to provide human rights to people in one county but not another. But in countries like Mexico, each of these country’s states have their laws and rulings each determined by local politics and only the Supreme Court is able to make blanket laws that affect the entire country. It’s this hierarchy that is making Mexico’s fight for marriage equality that much more difficult.

It’s also made more difficult by the way the nullification of state law works. For example, in order to nullify a state law about marriage equality, several separate lawsuits have to be filed by several couples against the state. On top of this, unlike in the United States where a successful lawsuit in one state allowed everybody in that area to marry, lawsuit rulings in Mexico only apply to the individuals that filed them meaning that those who also want to marry have to file their own lawsuit and wait for that to successful.


But despite these hurdles, those fighting for marriage equality in Mexico are pushing on. As of 2015, courts in more than two thirds of Mexico’s 31 states have ruled in favour of the same-sex couples, thus granting them the right to marry. In fact, in the states of Coahulla and Quintana Roo and Mexico City (which isn’t a state but it is a district, like Washington D.C) marriage is available for everybody.

What’s also good news is that lawyers like Alex Alí Méndez Díaz (who took up the legal fight when other LGBT protesters didn’t feel as though lawsuits would be successful) have been filing ‘amparos’ and ‘amparo colectivos’.

An amparo is a lawsuit that pertains to human rights, while an amparo colectivos is a human rights lawsuit that involves large groups of people. Méndez has been filing these lawsuits so that couples will win the right to marry and individuals will win that right for the future too, even if they do not currently have a partner. In April, 2014 the Supreme Court ruled in favour of his 39-person strong amparo colectivo while other lawsuits (some involving hundreds of people) have also been successful in other parts of the country.


The change is massively positive and speaking to Buzzfeed, Méndez says that he is astonished at the pace of it. And, their push for marriage equality has seen little to no resistance from LGBT rights opponents and religious leaders (Mexico is mostly Catholic) in the country as unlike the United States, where marriage equality is hugely publicised, that isn’t the case in Mexico and the people aren’t used to using the courts to bring about change like this.

However, this stability may not be forever as Méndez says that “The moment that there is an order from the Supreme Court forcing reform we’ll begin to see all kinds of resistance. We’re going to have serious problems with protests in opposition.”

In January, there was opposition from local officials in the state of Baja California who refused to let same-sex couple marry. One volunteer from the city hall even said that the two men were mad, which caused LGBT activists to organise a protest using the hashtag #MisDerechosNoSonLocura (#MyRightsAreNotMadness). In the end, the couple was allowed to marry.

Despite this opposition, which is sure to grow in the coming weeks and months, Méndez tells Buzzfeed that he still thinks the nationwide marriage equality will become a reality soon regardless.

We’ll keep you posted once we know more.


Meet Mexico’s Anti-homophobic Bishop

Bishop Raul Vera of Mexico has gotten attention this week for an interview with El País in which he harshly critiqued homophobia and intolerance as begin anti-catholic and ‘sick’.

Vera is a strong and active advocate of outreach to the LGBT community as well as other maligned groups in society such as immigrants, missing persons, indigenous people, prostitutes, drug addicts, and all outcasts, but this position has created problems. He is criticized by conservatives and catholics in Mexico, and has also made an enemy of the narco-cartels whose victims he helps.

In the interview he covers topics including homophobia, abortion, and drugs. He was asked what his opinions were regrading homosexuality since he baptized the daughter of a lesbian couple this year. Homosexuality, he says,

“…is a topic that we have refused to address. The people who say homosexuals are sick are sick themselves. I have a friend who is a priest and he is gay. The Church needs to come to them not with condemnation, but with dialogue. We cannot cancel out a person’s richness just because of his or her sexual preference. That is sick, that is heartless, that is lacking common sense.”

Bishop Raul Vera of Mexico

While still supporting the Church’s stance against homosexual behavior and marriage, the Bishop has nonetheless been an outspoken opponent of homophobia, although he has been ignored and disparaged for his stance in Mexico’s public sphere.

The ascension of Pope Francis, despite bringing no substantive changes to Church policy in the area, has reaffirmed a tone of compassion and a willingness to approach controversial progressive topics including the role of LGBT people and women in the Catholic community. As a result, Vera has received more of a platform since.

Last year, Vera responded to Pope Francis’s famous claim regarding homosexuality – ‘Who am I to judge?’

In a short video, he says that homophobia is a ‘mental illness’.

“They’re human beings deserving of respect. I am certain that [God] knows because, in reality, it’s many members of the Church who don’t want to recognize the scientific reality on the issue of homosexuality.”

Bishop Raul Vera of Mexico

Francis was himself a leading figure in Latin America as Cardinal Bergoglio, where he served as the head of the Argentine Conference of Bishops, and had an a confrontational but pragmatic and startlingly liberal approach to gay issues. During that time in his home-country Argentina, Bergolgio pushed for the Conference to endorse same-sex civil unions. This was meant to be an alternative to the same-sex marriage being considered at the time, which Bergolgio still condemmed.

Mexico today has limited marriage equality in certain regions of the country, such as capital Mexico City, and regional court challenges throughout the states.

Mexico’s International Film Festival on Gender – @MICGénero

Mexico’s The International Film on Gender (MICGénero – Muestra Internacional de Cine con Perspectiva de Género) is inviting filmmakers and producers to participate in the third edition of their festival – themed “Sexual and reproductive rights”.

The Festival will take place in September in Mexico City, and the aim is to take the exploration of gender studies out of the universities and bring them to the general public by screening and analysing films through gender perspective.

The event organisers are now looking filmmakers to submit short and feature length films, whether fiction or documentary. The materials submitted must be in the rough cut/post-production stage.

We accept films from all countries, and they must deal with the subject of “Sexual and Reproductive Rights” or address issues related to gender studies or gender perspective. A maximum of 5 works will be selected for each category, and then presented before a jury and an audience consisting of audiovisual industry professionals and experts on gender studies. A maximum of 5 works will be selected for each category, and then presented before a jury and an audience consisting of audiovisual industry professionals and experts on gender studies.

GenderLab/Work in Progress will take place on September 17th and 18th, during the 3rd edition of the International Film Festival with Gender Perspective, “Sexual and Reproductive Rights”, which will take place September 9 through 28 in Mexico City and until Novembrer 9 in other cities in Mexico.

For more information, please visit MICGénero web site and Facebook page.


Landmark Marriage Equality Ruling in Mexico

In a historic step, a judge in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico ruled on Tuesday that the prohibition of same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The LGBT community in Mexico is overjoyed with the decision as it means that LGBTs will likely be allowed to get married all across the country.

Mexico’s Supreme Court found that marriage inequality not only contravened Article 1 of the Mexican Constitution, which explicitly condemns discrimination against sexual minorities, but that it breached Article 143 of the National Civil Code. These landmark rulings come as a response to a civil rights suit brought by 39 LGBT Mexicans.

‘It is time to modernise our laws and our institutions have to adapt … because we are being overtaken by new circumstances,’ said Clarivel Rivera, Director of Oaxaca’s Vital Records Department. In the light of this good news for Mexican LGBTs, the government is now expected to change the country’s laws to accommodate all forms of same-sex marriage.

Same-sex ceremonies already take place in states such as Quintana and the federal district of Mexico City, while elsewhere LGBTs can join equivalent “civil union schemes”. Mexican LGBTs now feel that the next step must be to ensure that all states recognise all kinds of same-sex relationships.

Image source


Mexico Court Rules Law Banning Gay Marriage… by IBTimesTV