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Same-Sex Marriage Advances In Mexican State of Jalisco: VIDEO

Girls

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.

BoysMeanwhile, 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...

Continue reading "Same-Sex Marriage Advances In Mexican State of Jalisco: VIDEO" »


Mexico City's Mayor Miguel Mancera Marries 26 Gay Couples in Mass Wedding: VIDEO

Mancera

Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera married 26 gay couples in a mass wedding over the weekend.

Watch footage from the wedding, AFTER THE JUMP...

(leunamlc via blabbeando)

Continue reading "Mexico City's Mayor Miguel Mancera Marries 26 Gay Couples in Mass Wedding: VIDEO" »


Increase In Violence and Discrimination By Police In Mexico City

The LA Times tells the story of Jonathan Zamora, a 31-year old man from Mexico City, who was detained and beaten by police in that city simply for being gay. While Mexico City is seemingly gay-friendly (same-sex marriage is legal as are adoptions by gay couples), LGBT people have recently reported more and more discrimination from police.

MexicocityThe abuse Zamora experienced by the authorities:

He claimed four officers entered his cell and proceeded to punch and kick him. Zamora said he was then taken to a hospital, examined, returned to a police station and let go, ending an ordeal that lasted about eight hours.

"In my case, it wasn't just about a lack of training, it was a lack of everything," he said. "How can you hire people who are aggressive, violent, who don't behave like community?"

This week has seen the introduction of new regulations distributed to Mexico City police officers:

New police protocols published Thursday instruct officers to treat lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people “with respect for human rights” and to respect their “gender identity.” They also prohibit the use of insulting language or degrading comments.

"First, the police have to recognize that we're people," said Jaime Lopez Vela, a longtime gay rights activist who helped draft the new rules. "We've been talking about this for years. It's been on the agenda, and sadly, it's been expedited by the recent aggressions."

Meanwhile the police officers who violently beat Zamora have yet to face any disciplinary action.


High Court Ruling Striking Down Ban on Same-Sex Marriage in Mexico Made Public

Last December Mexico's highest court made a unanimous ruling striking down the ban on same-sex marriage in three cases (they must also strike it down in two more for it to have any effect nationally) out of the southern state of Oaxaca, and the ruling was not published at the time.

OaxacaIt was made public Monday, Buzzfeed reports:

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.

Buzzfeed adds:

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.


Journalists Remember Late Gay Reporter Armando Montano

AMontanoAs news broke of gay AP intern Armando Montano's death, his fellow journalist friends put digital pen to paper to remember the 22-year old journalist.

Via Metro Weekly comes this memory from Aaron Edwards, an intern at The New York Times:

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.

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, an intern at the Washington Post, also memorialized Montano. The late writer's enthusiasm for his craft — and indeed life — was so contagious that Evans and he formed a deep friendship based solely on online correspondence.

Evans writes, "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."

"As journalists, we harp so much about using social media to be an extension of our brand but it furrows my brow to think about how we sometimes forget to use it to truly connect with the people we friend and follow."


Gay American AP Intern Found Dead In Mexico City

AMontanoTwenty-two year old Armando Montano, an American journalist interning for the Associated Press, was found dead in an elevator shaft this weekend. The causes of the Colorado Springs resident's death are unknown and the U.S. Embassy there is monitoring the investigation.

The Washington Post offers more information about Montano's regrettably short career:

The Colorado Springs, Colorado, resident arrived in Mexico City in early June after graduating from Grinnell College with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a concentration in Latin American studies.

During his time in the bureau, Montano covered stories including the saga of nine young elephants from Namibia who wound up on an animal reserve in Mexico’s Puebla state, and the shooting of three federal policemen at the Mexico City airport.

He was not on assignment at the time of his death.

...

"Armando was a smart, joyful, hardworking and talented young man," said Marjorie Miller, AP’s Latin America editor based in Mexico City.

"He absolutely loved journalism and was soaking up everything he could,” said Miller. "In his short time with the AP, he won his way into everyone’s hearts with his hard work, his effervescence and his love of the profession."

Montano planned on getting a master's in journalism at the University of Barcelona come fall. The Massachusetts-born journo was also a member of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association.


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