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Mexico Elects First Gay Mayor In Rough Northern State

MEDRANO

Benjamin Medrano, a 47-year old singer and gay bar owner, has been elected Mayor of Fresnillo, a city in Mexico's northern Zacatecas region known for drug violence, ten gallon hats and heaping amounts of Machismo, the AP reports:

"Somewhat? Very machisto, I would say," Medrano says of his region. "I am going to be mayor of a township (roughly equivalent to a U.S. county) where there are 258 villages full of tough country people, who don't necessarily have much information on what's happening elsewhere, and have even less of an automatic sympathy with their gay mayor."

"But," he notes," It's not like I'm going to paint city hall pink, either."

Gay rights groups in Mexico heralded Medrano's win as an important step forward for the country. Though many high ranking elected officials have been rumored to be gay, Medrano is the highest profile openly gay politician to be elected to office to date. Concerned by the turf war that has grown increasingly bloody in Zacatecas, Medrano campaigned on a public-safety platform that would increase cooperation between federal and local police while also trying to root out corrupt cops bought off by the cartels.

Though gay rights causes, including the legalization of same-sex marriage, have advanced in Mexico as of late, Medrano is not always in lockstep with other Mexican LGBT advocates and activists:

A Roman Catholic, [Medrano] says "I wish the church had a different view, but I cannot go against doctrine ... I respect my church, and I don't want to dig any deeper beyond what's permitted and what is appropriate."

"I'm not in favor of gay marriage, I don't share that view, because we are still very small town ... in short, we're not prepared, in my view," he said. "Not yet, anyway, because we have strong roots in our religion, and in our customs."

But he criticizes gay politicians who refuse to come out, saying he's "very proud to be the first openly gay mayor in this country."

Some speculate that Medrano's more conservative stance on gay rights issues along with his reputation as a respected singer helped him garner the favor of the people of Fresnillo.

(Photo via Facebook)

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Comments

  1. Gay or straight is irrelevant. What's he going to do about the drug problem. Or is he going to do anything?

    Posted by: Zeta | Jul 19, 2013 8:09:21 AM


  2. "...heaping amounts of Machismo." - Really, yum! but if they all have Mr. Medrano's mentality, I'll pass.

    Posted by: gay4pay | Jul 19, 2013 8:11:26 AM


  3. Color me un-surprised when a "singer and bar owner" elected mayor of a drug controlled Mexican city is found to be on the take from the kingpins. What does his gay have to do with anything except changing the subject.

    Posted by: MIke | Jul 19, 2013 8:22:03 AM


  4. "I wish the church had a different view, but I cannot go against doctrine ... I respect my church, and I don't want to dig any deeper beyond what's permitted and what is appropriate." - What a pathetic excuse for a f@g! Self-loathing, brown nosing pansy!

    Posted by: tominnb | Jul 19, 2013 8:24:07 AM


  5. I don't think his election does anything to advance gay issues or gay acceptance in Mexico and Zacatecas. No more than Alan Keyes' or Allen West's election advanced African-American issues or acceptance. In fact I think, just like Keyes and West do for the Tea Party racists, Medrano does harm because he becomes the token conservative that anti-gay people will point to to prove that their anti-marriage equality and homophobia positions aren't homophobic.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Jul 19, 2013 8:56:47 AM


  6. This milestone will bring more courage to candidates in the future. Many mayors in Mexico (and governors) have been rumored to be gay but this is the first time one is out do the closer even before being elected.

    Posted by: David | Jul 19, 2013 9:12:34 AM


  7. Why NOT have a pink city hall? They've already got a tangerine village cathedral.

    Posted by: Acronym Jim | Jul 19, 2013 10:50:19 AM


  8. Mexico is not the United States... I suspect that the Mayor understands already that Marriage Equality will become a reality but in a new post, with some very 'traditional' Mexican constituents, he likely sees a benefit to pushing that door open slowly.

    No one gets elected in a region known for violence & machismo without the support of the bad guys... kinda makes you wonder if some of the drug guys might be gay. Certainly their customers on this side of the border are.

    Posted by: Pete N SFO | Jul 19, 2013 1:35:45 PM


  9. For a country that doesn't acknowledge religious marriages at all and was once known as the place to go for divorce, his fealty to his faith seems destructive.
    A better way to own the "gay" adjective there would have been to marry in one of the existing states and then live.

    Posted by: DK | Jul 19, 2013 2:10:53 PM


  10. P√čTE N SFO:

    Marriage equality is practically a reality now. The Supreme Court has already ruled that marriage equality is a right... it just won't become official until there are five rulings. But since there is precedent, they will always rule the same way. Just red tape now, really.

    Posted by: Fiveht | Jul 19, 2013 6:53:13 PM


  11. Felicidades Sr. Alcalde. Pero me preocupo el peligro que le traiga a Ud. por ser tan honesto y abierto de su vida personal.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jul 20, 2013 10:34:37 AM


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