March 4 Marriage: Mexico Vs SCOTUS
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This happened yesterday (via BuzzFeed):
Denying same-sex couples the right to marry is unconstitutionally discriminatory, Mexico’s Supreme Court announced in a sweeping ruling made public Monday.
The ruling not only makes a strong statement about Mexican law’s treatment of equal protection guarantees, it also relies heavily on civil rights rulings handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court. Although several justices of the American court take pride in not caring what foreign courts say, any who read the Mexican decision will find the court makes an impassioned case for the United States to follow its lead.
Writing for a unanimous tribunal, Minister Arturo Zaldívar Lelo de Larrea invoked the U.S. cases Loving v. Virginia and Brown v. Board of Education to argue for marriage equality in a way that American activists would be overjoyed to see from a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
On Loving v. Virginia, which struck down laws against interracial marriage in 1967, Zaldívar wrote (translated from its original Spanish):
- The historical disadvantages that homosexuals have suffered have been well recognized and documented: public harassment, verbal abuse, discrimination in their employment and in access to certain services, in addition to their exclusion to some aspects of public life. In this sense … when they are denied access to marriage it creates an analogy with the discrimination that interracial couples suffered in another era. In the celebrated case Loving v. Virginia, the United States Supreme Court argued that “restricting marriage rights as belonging to one race or another is incompatible with the equal protection clause” under the US constitution. In connection with this analogy, it can be said that the normative power of marriage is worth little if it does grant the possibility to marry the person one chooses.
Zaldívar also wrote that it would also be contrary to the principles of the 1954 school desegregation case Brown v. Board of Education to restrict same-sex couples to civil unions or domestic partnerships while barring them from marriage.
It can be said that the [other] models for recognition of same-sex couples, even if the only difference with marriage be the name given to both types of institutions, are inherently discriminatory because the constitute a regime of “separate but equal.” Like racial segregation, founded on the unacceptable idea of white supremacy, the exclusion of homosexual couples from marriage also is based on prejudice that historically has existed against homosexuals. Their exclusion from the institution of marriage perpetuates the notion that same-sex couples are less worthy of recognition than heterosexuals, offending their dignity as people.
The ruling had been anticipated since the court announced December 5, 2012, that it would order the state of Oaxaca to recognize the marriages of the three same-sex couples that had filed suit. But the court waited to spell out its justification for this decision in a written ruling for two-and-a-half months, suggesting there may have been disagreement about just how broadly it should make the case for marriage equality. The couples’ lawyer, Alex Alí Méndez Díaz, told BuzzFeed the opinion was posted on the court’s site Monday.
The court broke important ground in the ruling by invoking another precedent from international law, a ruling handed down in 2012 by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Karen Atala Riffo y Niños v. Chile. Most Latin American countries recognize the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court, which is the legal arm of the Organization of American States. (The United States and Canada do not submit to the court’s jurisdiction.)
Karen Atala was a Chilean mother who was denied custody of her children during divorce proceedings with her ex-husband because she is a lesbian. The Inter-American Court said the Chilean courts violated Atala’s human rights and for the first time said that gays and lesbians were protected from discrimination under international law, declaring that the American Convention on Human Rights, “prohibits … any rule, act, or discriminatory practice based on sexual orientation.”
A trio of same-sex couples from Chile have already started proceedings in the Inter-American justice system claiming that the Atala precedent means that international law should also protect the right to marry. If they succeed, it could open the door to marriage rights throughout Latin America for same-sex couples.
The Mexican marriage case was the first test in any Latin American court of whether the decision in Atala’s case can be applied to marriage rights. The court held that it could, writing that Atala requires the rejection of “a regime of separate-but-equal marriage.”
Hunter Carter, a lawyer for the Chilean couples suing to marry in the Inter-American Court, told BuzzFeed, “This opinion is a huge win for marriage rights for same sex couples in the Americas.”
Despite its breadth, this ruling will have only a small immediate impact in Mexico.
Technicalities of the country’s legal system mean that only the three couples who brought this case will be able to marry right away. Mexico City is still the only jurisdiction inside Mexico where marriage between same-sex couples is fully legal; several more lawsuits will have to be brought before that right is available nationwide.
Unlike in the United States, it takes more than one ruling from Mexico’s Supreme Court to strike down a law—the court must rule the same way in five separate cases before a law falls. This ruling concerns three separate cases; it will take two more for any same-sex couple in Oaxaca to be able to wed easily, and then the process may have to be repeated in other states. But this precedent means this is a procedural issue, not a legal one.
For the lawyer who brought this suit, Méndez, the verdict is still a big win.
“Without a doubt, we have made history … in Mexico. The next step is to extend this experience to other parts of the country,” he said.
A little noticed Mexican health norm first approved in August and then published in the country’s regulatory Official Federation Diary on October 26th has gone into effect today essentially doing away with a two-decade ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, reports Animal Político.
The old norm (NOM 003-SSA2) explicitly banned gay and bisexual men from donating blood based on their “practices” and their “increased probability of acquiring HIV or hepatitis infection”.
The new norm (NOM 253) eliminates specific bans on gay and bisexual men and instead bans blood donations from people with HIV or hepatitis and their partners and people who engage in “risky sexual practices” regardless of their sexual identity.
In the new blood donor norms “risky sexual practices” are defined as those that may include “contact or exchange of blood, sexual secretions or other bodily secretions between someone who might have a transmittable disease and areas of another person’s body through which an infectious agent might be able to penetrate.”
The United States and a number of Latin American countries which includeArgentina, Chile and Colombia have been mulling lifting similar longstanding bans that have been in effect since the HIV/AIDS crisis broke through decades ago.
If this report is correct, Mexico might be the first country in the American continent to lift such a ban.
With this, and the recent ruling by the Supreme Court striking down the ban on gay marriage nationwide, Mexico is now leading the path on equality in Latin America and beyond.
After Marriage reports:
The Supreme Court of Mexico issued a unanimous ruling Wednesday afternoon that paves the way to universal marriage rights in the country.
The actual ruling won’t be published for a little while, but the gay rights advocates who brought the case are proclaiming that today’s ruling “opens the door to equal marriage in the whole country.”
The court ruled on behalf of three same-sex couple seeking to marry in the southern state of Oaxaca. The court had already ruled in 2010 that gay marriages performed under a Mexico City ordinance had to be recognized nationwide. With this precedent, the remaining bans on gay marriage in most Mexican states could quickly fall.
This ruling does not immediately eliminate marriage statutes limiting unions to a man and a woman—the Mexican Supreme Court doesn’t have the power to strike down state laws like that en mass as the United States Supreme Court does. But the lawyer who brought the case, Alex Alí Méndez Díaz, said before the ruling that victory would mean the beginning of the end for bans on same-sex marriage.
(More about Méndez here—he started the case as a law student.)
The court’s ruling that the ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutionally discriminatory is partly based on a February ruling from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that governments can’t discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, Karen Atala Riffo y Niñas v. Chile.
This case could have repercussions outside of Mexico—by expanding this precedent to include the right to marry, courts in other Latin American countries that recognize the Inter-American Accord on Human Rights could follow this precedent and determine that marriage rights are also protected in their countries. And the Inter-American Court itself could be more likely to recognize a right to marry—a case brought by three couples trying to strike down Chile’s ban on gay marriage has already begun making its way through the international judicial system.
#Mexico Wins #Gold at @Olympics @London2012 (Taken with Instagram)
Armando “Mando” Montano, a 22-year-old news intern for the Associated Press in Mexico City this summer, was found dead early Saturday, June 30, according to an AP report. Montano was gay and a member of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.
According to the AP, “Montano’s body was found in the elevator shaft of an apartment building near where he was living in the capital’s Condesa neighborhood. The circumstances of his death were being investigated by Mexican authorities.”
The AP details the outstanding career on which the young journalist already had embarked:
In December and January, Montano covered the Iowa presidential caucuses as a news intern for The New York Times, and last year worked for several months as an intern covering policy and finance for The Chronicle of Higher Education in Washington, D.C.
“Mando was a standout young journalist, with a rare passion and exuberance for life and for people,” said Richard Berke, an assistant managing editor at The New York Times. “He accomplished so much and touched so many in a short time, and his potential was truly limitless.”
Tributes to Montano popped up throughout social media on Sunday, including from a friend and fellow young journalist, Aaron Edwards, who is an intern atThe New York Timesthis summer. Edwardswrote, in part, of Montano’s love of journalism — and hope for love:
About one year ago, when Armando Montano and I went to the Chips Quinn Scholars Program, a journalism training program geared to young journalists of minority backgrounds, he started beaming when he found out that because we were Chips Quinn Scholars we would get free access to the Newseum, an interactive journalism museum in Washington, D.C.
But his excitement stemmed from more than the fact that he could now go and geek out over historic front pages and archival photographs from The New York Times and The Washington Post whenever he wanted. Armando, or “Mando” as many called him for short, was excited because he was adamant and steadfast in the idea that he would marry the love of his life there.
“I’m going to get married in the Newseum, Aaron. I’m going to get married at the freakin’ Newseum.” he would tell me. Sure, to some it might sound like a joke. But to Mando, this was going to be a beautiful and ironic reality. He would pull some strings, maybe lobby for a few months in D.C., maybe cut some bribes with the executives of the Newseum. (He was kidding on that last one…or was he?)
Mando was sure that he would stand on the balcony of that building one day and say “I Do” to a man who loved him enough to understand and cherish a guy whose quirky soul led him to want to get married atop a national journalism museum.
Marissa Evans, another young journalist,wrote:
He had just graduated from Grinnell [College] in Iowa and this fall he was shipping off to the University of Barcelona for journalism school. Looking through my Gmail chats with him, I had only started talking to him on August 1, 2011. Our friendship is built upon 72 hilarious chat sessions plus countless Facebook comments/likes and Twitter mentions and retweets.
We had some of the very best conversations imaginable about journalism, Facebook creeping on cute boys we liked, our hopes, our fears and many freak-outs during the internship offer waiting game. We were each other’s cheerleaders and in fact, he was one of the first few people I told I had accepted The Washington Post’s internship offer for this summer. It was such a wonderful day when he told me he was off to Mexico to report for the AP and also put his Spanish to great use. The caps he used to convey his excitement will forever put a smile on my face.
According to Edwards, Montano’s first AP byline was published long before his internship, in 2010, whenMontano wroteabout same-sex marriages being celebrated at pride in Argentina that summer.
ALSO:Montano had beena Metro Weekly Coverboy back in August 2011. Asked at the time what he was most grateful for, he replied, “To have a lot of supportive people in my life.”
Oh my… And just this saturday June 30th was Pride Weekend in Mexico City. La Condesa, the neighbourhood where he was found, is a very gay friendly place. So, if this turns out to be a Hate Crime, this is gonna shock the LGBT Community here even more.
My thoughts go out to his family.
Hispanically Speaking News:
Enrique Peña Nieto claimed victory in Mexico’s presidential election and vowed to work for reconciliation and national unity while crafting a “modern and responsible” presidency.
The Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, candidate said he would continue to fight organized crime, but with a new strategy that focuses on reducing violence and safeguarding the lives of Mexicans.
“Let it be clear. There will be no pact or truce with organized crime,” the 45-year-old Peña Nieto said, referring to the wave of drug-related violence that has claimed the lives of more than 50,000 people since late 2006.
Peña Nieto, according to the preliminary vote tally released by the Federal Electoral Institute, or IFE, won 37.33 percent of the vote in Sunday’s general elections, with 78.47 percent of the ballots counted.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, candidate of the leftist Progressive Movement coalition, won 32.55 percent of the vote, while governing National Action Party, or PAN, candidate Josefina Vazquez Mota got 25.37 percent of the vote.
Longshot Gabriel Quadri, of the New Alliance Party, or PANAL, won 2.37 percent of the vote.
Figures from the Preliminary Election Results Program, or PREP, will continue to be released over the course of the day, the IFE said.
Peña Nieto thanked the millions of Mexicans who placed their trust in him and promised to take the presidency in a new direction.
Mexico will have “a modern presidency, responsible, open to criticism, and willing to listen and take everyone into account,” Peña Nieto said.
Sunday’s election gives the PRI, which governed Mexico from 1929 to 2000, a second chance, Peña Nieto said.
“The country wants work, cooperation and, above all and most importantly, results,” Peña Nieto said.
Mexico will be getting an administration that is “efficient, honest, transparent and accountable,” Peña Nieto said.
The politician and former Mexico state governor was accompanied by his wife, actress Angelica Rivera, on the stage.
“I invite everyone to leave behind our differences and tensions from the electoral contest,” Peña Nieto said.
President Felipe Calderon, of the PAN, congratulated Peña Nieto on his victory and expressed his “absolute willingness” to help bring about an orderly transition.
Calderon will leave office on Dec. 1.
PRI, a Center-Right political party, returns to power after two presidential tearms of 6 years each under rightwing rule (PAN). PRI remained in power for little over 70 years in Mexico at a federal level until PAN’s candidate, Vicente Fox, won the elections back in 2000, becoming the first President in Mexico’s history to be from another political party outside PRI (Vicente Fox, however, for this elections, publicly supported PRI’s candidate). During PRI’s rule, Mexico lived under repression with no freedom of speech. Acts of genocide are among the many issues that PRI hasn’t taken responsability for.
The appartent new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, has promised to lead the country in a more inclusive way. However, it is very unlikely that he will include a pro-LGBT agenda during his term. He’s said, thou, that he stands on the belief that Marriage is a union between a man and a woman, but that he won’t meddle in the States affairs regarding LGBT Issues.
Josefina Vázquez Mota, the first woman to ever be endorsed by a major political party (PAN), lost by a landslide, comparing next to the other two presidential candidates, having around the 25% of the votes, Enrique Peña Nieto 38%, and Andrés Manuel López Obrador (PRD, left) 32% of the preliminary results.
Andrés Manuel López Obrador, from the Leftist Party PRD (Democratic Revolucionary Party), has vowed to accept the final results of the elections, to be released this week, a very different reaction to the one he had six years ago when running against current President, Felipe Calderón. Back then, he claimed victory ahead of the final results, and then called out IFE (the Federal Electoral Institute) on being guilty of fraud.
Yes, Peña Nieto is cute but he’s Sarah Palin dumb.
More to come…
Mexico: President Felipe Calderón Thanks President Obama
The Weekly Standard reports:
At a bilateral meeting in Los Cabos, Mexican president Felipe Calderón thanked President Obama for his Friday announcement not to prosecute young illegal immigrants:
- I would like to thank personally, and on behalf of the Mexican nation, President Barack Obama for his valuable decision by executive order to give an opportunity for young people who were not born in the United States but who arrived in that great nation before they were 16 years of age, or who are studying in university, or who have served in the United States armed forces, for them not to be deported for at least a period of two years, so this is a clear and certain situation for them.
We believe that this is very just. It’s a humanitarian action. And it’s an unprecedented action in our opinion. And in this sense, Mr. President, we would like to thank you for the valor and courage that you had in implementing this action. I am sure that many, many families in the United States of America are thankful to you as well.
Mexico: Mexico City Prepares Seminar On Gay Weddings
La Razón reports:
The Federal District Government (GDF) [Mexico City’s Government) presented the seminar Gay Wedding Event Marketing Workshop for Gay, which will be held on June 26 by the wedding planner and social activist Bernadette Coveney, founder of 14 Stories Gay Wedding Institute, with the aim of showing suppliers to the hospitality industry and events in Mexico’s economic potential gay weddings, which amounts to four million dollars.
One goal of the GDF is to attract tourism to the city with marriages between same-sex, after the law on the subject passed in 2009, which is intended to be an incentive for foreigners to come and get married here and so the economic benefit.
Besides the city government seeks to sensitize service providers to adopt an inclusive policy towards the gay community. Along with the GDF involved in organizing the event JW Marriot and the Association of Bridal Consultants Events Latin ABC.
During the presentation of the seminar the Minister of Tourism in Mexico City, Carlos Mackinlay, said the invitation is for all companies interested in opening show on the subject, as he said, it is clear that the gay market segment shows a increasing economic and financial importance raises a number of business opportunities.
According to figures from the firm Global Out Now, Mexico is home to nearly five million homosexuals who in 2010 represented a gross income of $ 67 billion and is expected to spend more than $ 660 million in one year. From 2010 to date, in Mexico City, 503 thousand married same-sex couples and, of those, 200 were among foreigners. This, he said Mackinlay, opens the opportunity to promote international tourism in the capital.
In turn Camelú Millan, wedding consultant, said that by themselves, weddings are an industry that is growing, but now this area requires specific training and expertise.
The story was picked up by NPR, but the NYT wrote a piece a couple of years ago about this issue, which may have had some resonance internationally but has been quite an unknown fact within Mexico’s borders.
The New York Times reports:
Mexico can be intolerant of homosexuality; it can also be quite liberal. Gay-bashing incidents are not uncommon in the countryside, where many Mexicans consider homosexuality a sin. In Mexico City, meanwhile, same-sex domestic partnerships are legally recognized — and often celebrated lavishly in government offices as if they were marriages.
But nowhere are attitudes toward sex and gender quite as elastic as in the far reaches of the southern state of Oaxaca. There, in the indigenous communities around the town of Juchitán, the world is not divided simply into gay and straight. The local Zapotec people have made room for a third category, which they call “muxes” (pronounced MOO-shays) — men who consider themselves women and live in a socially sanctioned netherworld between the two genders.
“Muxe” is a Zapotec word derived from the Spanish “mujer,” or woman; it is reserved for males who, from boyhood, have felt themselves drawn to living as a woman, anticipating roles set out for them by the community.
Anthropologists trace the acceptance of people of mixed gender to pre-Colombian Mexico, pointing to accounts of cross-dressing Aztec priests and Mayan gods who were male and female at the same time. Spanish colonizers wiped out most of those attitudes in the 1500s by forcing conversion to Catholicism. But mixed-gender identities managed to survive in the area around Juchitán, a place so traditional that many people speak ancient Zapotec instead of Spanish.
Not all muxes express their identities the same way. Some dress as women and take hormones to change their bodies. Others favor male clothes. What they share is that the community accepts them; many in it believe that muxes have special intellectual and artistic gifts.
Every November, muxes inundate the town for a grand ball that attracts local men, women and children as well as outsiders. A queen is selected; the mayor crowns her. “I don’t care what people say,” said Sebastian Sarmienta, the boyfriend of a muxe, Ninel Castillejo García. “There are some people who get uncomfortable. I don’t see a problem. What is so bad about it?”
Muxes are found in all walks of life in Juchitán, but most take on traditional female roles — selling in the market, embroidering traditional garments, cooking at home. Some also become sex workers, selling their services to men. .
Acceptance of a child who feels he is a muxe is not unanimous; some parents force such children to fend for themselves. But the far more common sentiment appears to be that of a woman who takes care of her grandson, Carmelo, 13.
“It is how God sent him,” she said.
Fox News Latino reports:
Thousands of people and about 30 floats took part in Mexico’s 34th Gay Pride Parade in the capital, where a concert marked the end of the event.
The parade started at the Angel of Independence Monument and wound its way through Mexico City’s streets on Saturday.
The Tourism Secretariat estimated that at least 10,000 people attended the event, while the Federal District’s Public Safety Secretariat released a preliminary estimate of more than 30,000 paradegoers.
The theme of this year’s parade was “¡Educacion formal de la sexualidad ya!” (Formal Teaching of Sexuality, Now!).
The parade featured music, people in colorful outfits and dozens of rainbow flags on the capital’s streets.
Mexico City Tourism Secretary Carlos Mackinlay welcomed those attending the parade, calling for gender equity policies, tolerance, openness and democracy, the goals pursued in the Federal District in recent years.
Marchers shouted slogans during the parade in favor of respect for sexual diversity.
The band OV7 and more than 30 other artists performed in the Zocalo, Mexico City’s largest plaza, at the end of the parade.
And fortunately for Mexico City, he won’t be paying a visit to the capital because he apparently has a heart, which can’t handle the city’s altitude given his delicate health situation.
Millions of pesos are being spent to make his visit as comfortable as possible, and of course from our taxes. And protests are of course making its way onto the mainstream media:
Ratzinger is quite unpopular in Mexico because soon after becoming pope, Pope Benedict XVI acted too little, too late when he removed child rapist Father Maciel from active ministry after an investigation that started under John Paul II, ordering him to just retire.
Mexico has the world’s second largest Catholic congregation after Brazil.
He’s schedule to leave Mexico To Cuba today.
Welcome, once again, to your favourite segment, the original weekly post were we recognise the hard work that takes for people to be bigoted morons. It must be hard work, believe it or not, cause you gotta give it to them, they really stick to their bullshit.
This week, this place belongs to Juan Carlos Castro, a young man with very homophobic views. Last week, he participated as a member of the PAN’s Youth (which is the Conservative Party in Mexico) at the Legislative Assembly of Mexico City. Given that the Capital of the country has been governed by the Left (PRD) for more than a decade, he felt he needed to point out the “useless” and “destructive” things the Left has done in the City ever since, like you know, give the Gay Community he right to marry (or as he would say, “allowing marriage for faggots”), legislate in favour of Women’s Rights, help the poor, etc. Those kind of progressive things that the Rights hates so much, no matter geography.
Although this happened last week, he needed to be the headline once again this week. This time, by making comments on the recent tragedy of the murder of Trans Activist Agnes Torres, who was found dead in Puebla State, beheaded and with signs of having been tortured when alive. Castro said that she had it coming, given her activism and her “cougar behaviour towards young innocent men”. Of course, the LGBT Community has already taken legal action against this “pendejo”.
So, here he is, as the new inductee of this quite popular segment. Congrats to Juan Pablo Castro!
An advocate for the Mexican lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ) community, Agnes Torres Sulca, was found murdered in Atlixco, Puebla this past Saturday, March 10.
According to reports from the State Attorney’s Office, the body of Agnes Torres was found abandoned in a ditch near an expressway in Atlixco, with a neck wound, burns throughout her body, and visible signs of torture. Her death is presumed to be a hate crime.
Puebla LGBTQ organization No Dejarse Es Incluirse, AC condemned the murder, saying via press release “we condemn the murder of the woman, academic, psychologist, educator, model and activist for human rights of all women in general and of all sexual diversity. We are also shocked, saddened, angered, and saddened by the crime and we feel powerless once again because a valuable person has succumbed to the most brutal form of gender-based violence. Learned violence, encouraged violence, violence against women. In this case, a transgender woman.”
Missing for over a week, with friends and family attempting to reach her through social media, Agnes was last seen by her mother as she was leaving for Chipilo.
Asking the authorities to treat this murder as if it were that of politician’s relative, No Dejarse es Incluirse, AC urge for the a quick investigation into Agnes’ murder.
“We demand the authorities immediately clarify the the murder of Agnes Torres Sulca. We do not want to feel the helplessness, abandonment and legal neglect. The authorities and institutions need to take action on the matter once and for all. No more impunity in anti-LGBTQ homocides.”
I currently reside in Mexico City, and it’s quite annoying that mainstream media won’t cover these kind of news, which need to be known by the public.
UPDATE: Apparently, Agenes was victim of torture and died of hypovolemic shock secondary by beheading. The Gov. of Puebla (State where she was found and allegedly killed), Gov. Rafael Moreno Valle, said that he and his government are doing everything that’s on their hands to bring the killers to justice. This came after the Legislative Assembly of Mexico City (Torres resided in Mexico City) urged him to put this as a priority.
According to Milenio, the list of Hate Crimes has been increasing in the past couple of years.
Yesterday, the LGBT Community in Mexico City orginized a protest downtown.
RELATED: Also, Mexico City’s congressman Juan Pablo Castro (who’s a member of the Conservative Party, PAN, Youth, and not an elected official) made headlines once again for bigoted and hateful comments, saying that “she [Agnes] deserved what happened to her”, he wrote on his Twitter account (@jpcastrogamble).
An LGBT Organisation, Agenda for Sexual Diversity, is proceding with a lawsuitagainst the Congressman, based on discrimination grounds. Jaime Lopez Vela, President of ASD, said that they will proceed with the lawsuit till the last consequences, given that discrimination and homophobia are indeed offenses under the Criminal Code of the Federal District (Mexico City).