Neil Patrick Harris went south of the border for the holidays and decided to wrap up the trip by allowing us to join him on Instagram in a celebration of the country's signature cocktail.
Writes Harris : "Last day of our Mexico adventure. Let's see just how many margaritas I can drink. Cheers!"
Continued, AFTER THE JUMP...
Despite a ruling from Mexico’s supreme court a little over a year that “open[ed] the door to equal marriage in the whole country,” marriage equality has yet to become a reality in every Mexican state. Same-sex marriage has been officially recognized in Chihuahua, Quintana Roo, Yucatan, and Oaxaca. However, a recent union in Jalisco suggests more movement is possible.
CNN Mexico reports that earlier this month Zaira de la O and Martha Sandoval became the first lesbian couple to marry in the state of Jalisco:
Last November, Jalisco lawmakers approved domestic partnerships for gay couples (Ley de Libre Convivencia), a union with limited benefits that is formalized before a notary, not a judge.
After being denied a marriage license in March, the couple sought relief from the courts and won, CNN Mexico reported.
“We are happy, relishing the moment we sign, with the same nerves as any couple about to marry for the first time,” Zaira said.
The women, who are raising a 1-year-old daughter, were represented in their legal fight by the Committee of Latin America and the Caribbean for the Defense of Women's Rights (Comite de America Latina y el Caribe para la Defensa de los Derechos de la Mujer, CLADEM).
CLADEM's Guadalupe Ramos said that she knew of at least five additional gay couples who want to marry in the state.
“What we hope is that we won't have to litigate in all of these cases to obtain the same rights as heterosexual couples,” said Zaira.
Meanwhile, in November, Marco Villaseñor Quiroz and Jaime Gándara Salcido, became the first same-sex couple to marry in the state of Chihuahua, according to El Diario. Thanks to a district court judge who granted the couple a ‘writ of amparo’ or ‘protection of their civil rights’ the couple was able to receive a marriage license. Though the couple received much support from family and friends, not everyone was happy to celebrate them on their big day:
At the start of the wedding, a group of people [arrived at] the facilities of the Civil Registry to prevent it, but the authorities requested the support of units of the Municipal Police and everything ran smoothly with calm….
After 20 years of living together, Jaime [spoke of his happiness in reaching] that day: "We are in a great place for having achieved the goal. Thank God everything is provided to us, we have had much support".
Congratulations to the happy couples!
Watch a video of Sandoval and de la O's wedding (in Spanish) along with a short clip of Quiroz and Salcido's, AFTER THE JUMP...
In July Towleroad reported that Benjamin Medrano, a 47-year-old singer and gay bar owner, had been elected Mayor of Fresnillo, a city in Mexico's northern Zacatecas region known for its machismo and drug violence.
Said Medrano at the time: "I am going to be mayor of a township 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, it's not like I'm going to paint city hall pink, either."
Medrano was sworn in over the weekend, the BBC reports:
He posted a message on his Twitter account soon after the ceremony: "The time has come to listen to your demands and address your problems. I have a commitment with you".
Two of Mexico's biggest criminal organisations - Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel - have been fighting for control of drug trafficking routes leading north towards the American border.
Mr Medrano said the fact that he has no involvement with criminal organisations would enable him to do a good job for the people of Fresnillo.
"What matters the least for the people is who you may sleep with, what you do in your private life. What they want is good results from their politicians," he told BBC Mundo.
Rafael Mendoza, a lawmaker from the Mexican state of Colima, has asked authorities to ban gay weddings from public spaces to keep them from the eyes of children, the AP reports:
He said Tuesday that society is not ready to watch gay weddings, saying the mothers didn't know what to tell their kids when the two men dressed in charro suits kissed.
"Parents are coming to me, to my house, to tell me they are against the city carrying out these weddings in public," Mendoza said. "I am not against these civil unions; the only thing is I don't want them in public."
A rival political group said it plans to file a human rights complaint this week charging Mendoza with discrimination. His own party, the Democratic Revolution Party, asked him to take back the comments, since the leftist party has championed gay marriages in Mexico.
Mendoza's request was in reaction to the marriage of an American man and a Mexican man in a city plaza. He is giving up his party leadership in the state congress over the remarks.
Ever since Pope Francis' message of tolerance towards LGBT Catholics and (people in general), members of the Catholic church have been divided as to precisely what it means for their faith and for the church. On the one hand, you have Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who quickly issued a rebuttal to the Pope's statement reaffirming that "homosexuality is still a sin". On the other, you have the likes of Mexican bishop Raúl Vera, who believes that homophobes are actually the depraved ones.
During an interview posted Tuesday on YouTube, the bishop was asked to respond to the Pope's statement of "who am I to judge", which sent him off on a two and a half minute speech condemning religious-based homophobia. "They're human beings deserving of respect," he began, speaking of LGBT people. "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 Vera subsequently gives a questionable explanation of the origins of homosexuality, claiming that homosexuality occurs when a person's "anatomy does not correspond with their hormones." While Vera may or may not have his facts straight in that regard, he does preach a message of acceptance, and faults members of the church who insist on excluding members of the LGBT community:
"One mother came to me and said that she was being watchful of her son because he was hanging out with 'those degenerate gays' and I said 'so blame yourself for it because that's the way your son developed in your womb and he didn't develop into a degenerate or a perverse person. He was born with a certain constitution you are trying to ignore. Calm down, you are the mother of that child and he began to be who he now is inside your womb. So the first one I'd kick out would be you because you are the perverse one who is first in line.' That's what I said...
"What does the Bible say? Why would I immediately think a gay or lesbian person is perverse or depraved the moment they approach me? That's how people who are homophobic react. It's a mental illness in which you see gays as depraved and promiscuous. You have to be sick in the head for that."
This isn't Bishop Vera's first brush with LGBT rights advocacy. This past December, the Associated Press profiled Vera and his pro-LGBT stances in a piece last December. Vera has supported LGBT rights legislation before in Mexico, and was previously brought to the Vatican to explain an outreach program he helped organize for gay young people. He's even received death threats as a result of his activism.