LGBT rights in Mexico
|LGBT rights in Mexico|
|Same-sex sexual intercourse legal status||Legal since 1871|
|Gender identity/expression||Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name in Mexico City and 2 states|
|Discrimination protections||Sexual orientation protection nationwide since 2003 (see below)|
|Same-sex marriage in Mexico City and 12 states (recognized nationwide)|
|Adoption||Joint adoption legal in Mexico City and 11 states|
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in Mexico have expanded in recent years, in keeping with worldwide legal trends. The intellectual influence of the French Revolution and the brief French occupation of Mexico (1862–67) resulted in the adoption of the Napoleonic Code, which decriminalized same-sex sexual acts in 1871. Laws against public immorality or indecency, however, have been used to prosecute persons who engage in them.
Tolerance of sexual diversity in certain indigenous cultures is widespread, especially among Isthmus Zapotecs and Yucatán Mayas. As the influence of foreign and domestic cultures (especially from more cosmopolitan areas like Mexico City) grows throughout Mexico, attitudes are changing. This is most marked in the largest metropolitan areas, such as Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Tijuana, where education and access to foreigners and foreign news media are greatest. Change is slower in the hinterlands, however, and even in large cities discomfort with change often leads to backlashes. Since the early 1970s, influenced by the United States gay liberation movement and the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre, a substantial number of LGBT organizations has emerged. Visible and well-attended LGBT marches and pride parades have occurred in Mexico City since 1979 and in Guadalajara since 1996.
On 3 June 2015, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation released a "jurisprudential thesis" in which the legal definition of marriage was changed to encompass same-sex couples. Laws restricting marriage to a man and a woman were deemed unconstitutional by the court and thus every justice provider in the nation must validate same-sex unions. However, the process is lengthy as couples must request an injunction (Spanish: amparo) from a judge, a process that opposite-sex couples do not have to go through. The Supreme Court issued a similar ruling pertaining to same-sex adoptions in September 2016. While these two rulings did not directly strike down Mexico's same-sex marriage and adoption bans, they ordered every single judge in the country to rule in favor of same-sex couples seeking marriage and/or adoption rights.
Political and legal gains have been made through the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution, leftist minor parties such as the Labor Party and Citizen's Movement, the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party and more recently the left-wing National Regeneration Movement. They include among others the 2011 amendment to Article 1 of the Federal Constitution to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. Same-sex marriages are performed without any restrictions in Mexico City, Baja California, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, Puebla and Quintana Roo, as well as in certain municipalities in Oaxaca and Querétaro. Additionally, civil unions are performed in Mexico City and the states of Coahuila, Campeche, Jalisco, Michoacán and Tlaxcala.
- 1 History
- 2 History
- 3 Recognition of same-sex relationships
- 4 Discrimination protections
- 5 Adoption and parenting
- 6 Military service
- 7 Gender identity and expression
- 8 Blood donation
- 9 Public opinion
- 10 Living conditions
- 11 Summary table
- 12 See also
- 13 Footnotes
- 14 References
- 15 External links
Acceptance of homosexuality and transgenderism has been documented among various indigenous peoples of Mexico, most notably the Isthmus Zapotecs and Yucatán Mayas. The Isthmus Zapotecs recognize a traditional third gender, known as muxe, an intermediate between male and female. Muxes are assigned male at birth, but typically act and behave like women and do both women and men's work. Having a muxe in the family is perceived as good luck and a blessing. They are often referred to as transgender in English language publications.
"Muxe, persons who appear to be predominantly male but display certain feminine characteristics are highly visible in Isthmus Zapotec populations. They fill a third gender role between men and women, taking some of the characteristics of both. Although they are perceived to be different from the general heterosexual male population, they are neither devalued nor discriminated against in their communities. Isthmus Zapotecs have been dominated by Roman Catholic ideology for more than four centuries. Mestizos, especially mestizo police, occasionally harass and even persecute muxe boys, but Zapotec parents, especially mothers and other women, are quick to defend them and their rights to "be themselves", because, as they put it, "God made them that way." I have never heard an Isthmus Zapotec suggest that a muxe chose to become a muxe. The idea of choosing gender or of choosing sexual orientation, the two of which are not distinguished by the Isthmus Zapotecs, is as ludicrous as suggesting, that one can choose one's skin color."— Beverly Chiñas.
The Yucatán Mayas are very accepting of homosexuality, with same-sex relations being quite common among young men and teenagers. Traditionally, Mayan society has been referred to as an openly bisexual society, with almost all men having had sexual relations with both men and women. Toltec, Chichimeca and Totonac cultures are also known for being accepting of homosexuality.
However, little is known about same-sex relationships in Aztec society. Some sources claim that homosexuality among young Aztec men was tolerated (homosexual acts were commonly practised in temples and before battle), but not among adult men, where the punishment could be death. The penetrated adult male (known as cuiloni) would typically be killed through anal impalement but the penetrating male would usually not suffer any punishments. On the other hand, many Aztec nobles and rich merchants had both male and female prostitutes and engaged in same-sex relations, and there were some religious rituals where homosexuality was acceptable, most notably Tezcatlipoca sacrifices. Intersex people (known as patlache) were regarded as "detestable women" by Aztec society and would also be killed. However, some sources suggest that homosexuality was more widely practised and tolerated among the Aztecs and that most of the negativity surrounding the practice stems from Spanish records, as supposedly the Spanish had "huge problems trying to stamp out homosexuality". The Aztec god Xōchipilli is the patron of homosexuals and male prostitutes.
- 1542: Hernan Cortés started his campaign in Cholula (now Cholula, Puebla). At that time, Amerindian homosexuality behavior varied from region to region. Cortés on behalf of his majesty the King of Spain started talking to the locals (hacer un parlamento, translated from old Spanish) and established rules against sodomy. The rules also included cannibalism, human sacrifice and other gods idolatry.
- 1569: An official inquisition was created in Mexico City by Philip II of Spain. Same-sex sexual acts were a prime concern, and the Inquisition inflicted stiff fines, spiritual penances, public humiliations, and floggings for what it deemed to be sexual sins.
- 1871: The intellectual influence of the French Revolution and the brief French occupation of Mexico (1862–67) resulted in the adoption of the Napoleonic Code. This meant that sexual conduct in private between adults (regardless of gender) ceased to be a criminal matter.
- 1901: (20 November) Mexico City police raided an affluent drag ball, arresting 42 men (19 of which were cross-dressing). One was released, allegedly a close relative of President Porfirio Díaz. The resulting scandal, known as the "Dance of the 41 Maricones", received widespread press coverage.
- 1959: Mayor Ernesto Uruchurtu closed all gay bars in Mexico City under the guise of "cleaning up vice" (or reducing its visibility).
- 1971: The Homosexual Liberation Front (Frente de Liberación Homosexual), one of the first LGBT groups in Latin America, was organized in response to the firing of a Sears employee because of his (allegedly) homosexual orientation.
- 1979: The country's first LGBT pride parade was held in Mexico City.
- 1982: Max Mejía, Pedro Preciado, and Claudia Hinojosa became the first openly gay politicians to run for seats in the Congress of Mexico.
- 1991: Mexico hosted a meeting of the International Gay and Lesbian Association, the first meeting of the association outside Europe.
- 1997: Patria Jiménez, a lesbian activist, was selected for proportional representation in the Chamber of Deputies of Mexico, representing the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution.
- 1999: (August): The first meeting of lesbians and lesbian feminists was held in Mexico City. From this meeting, evolved an organized effort for expanded LGBT rights in the nation's capital.
- (2 September): Mexico City passed an ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, the first of its kind in the country.
- 2000: Enoé Uranga, an openly lesbian politician, proposed a bill that would have legalized same-sex civil unions in Mexico City. The local Legislature, however, decided not to enact the bill after widespread opposition from right-wing groups.
- 2003: (29 April): A federal anti-discrimination law was passed and a national council immediately created to enforce it.
- (July): Amaranta Gómez became the first transgender woman to run for a seat in the Congress of Mexico.
- 2004: (13 March): Amendments to the Mexico City Civil Code that allow transgender people to change the gender and name on their birth certificates took effect.
- 2006: (9 November): Mexico City legalized same-sex civil unions.
- 2007: (11 January): The northern state of Coahuila legalized same-sex civil unions.
- (31 January): The nation's first same-sex civil union ceremony was performed in Saltillo, Coahuila.
- 2008: (September): The Mexico City Legislative Assembly made it easier for transgender people to change their gender on their birth certificates.
- 2009: (March): Miguel Galán, from the defunct Social Democratic Party, became the first openly gay politician to run for mayor in the country.
- (21 December): Mexico City's Legislative Assembly passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, adoption by same-sex couples, loan applications by same-sex couples, inheritance from a same-sex partner, and the sharing of insurance policies by same-sex couples. Eight days later, Mayor Marcelo Ebrard signed the bill into law.
- 2010: (4 March): The same-sex marriage law took effect in Mexico City.
- (5 August): The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, the highest federal court in the country, voted 9–2 to uphold the constitutionality of Mexico City's same-sex marriage reform. Four days later, it upheld the city's adoption law.
- 2011: (June): The Constitution of Mexico was amended to prohibit discrimination based on, among other factors, sexual orientation.
- (24 November): The Coahuila Supreme Court struck down the state's law barring same-sex couples from adopting, urging the state's Legislature to amend the adoption law as soon as possible.
- (28 November): Two same-sex couples were married in Kantunilkín, Quintana Roo, after discovering that Quintana Roo's Civil Code does not specify gender requirements for marriage.
- 2012: (January): Same-sex marriages were suspended in Quintana Roo pending legal review by Luis González Flores, the Secretary of State of Quintana Roo.
- (April): Roberto Borge Angulo, the Governor of Quintana Roo, annulled the two same-sex marriages performed in Kantunilkín.
- (3 May): Luis González Flores reversed Borge Angulo's annulments in a decision allowing for future same-sex marriages to be performed in Quintana Roo.
- (5 December): The Supreme Court in Mexico City struck down an Oaxaca state law that had limited marriage to one man and one woman for purposes of procreation.
- 2013: (27 February): The first same-sex marriage licenses were issued in the state of Colima, after officials cited the Federal Constitution, which prohibits discrimination due to sexual orientation, and the Supreme Court ruling that struck down Oaxaca state's same-sex marriage ban.
- (22 March): The first same-sex marriage occurred in Oaxaca.
- (14 June): The Second Federal District Court of the State of Colima ruled that the State Civil Code was unconstitutional in limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples.
- (1 July): The Third District Court of the State of Yucatán ruled that two petitioners were able to marry. Martha Góngora, director of the Civil Registry of the state, said the decision would be reviewed and might be returned to the court. Jorge Fernández Mendiburu, defense counsel in the case, indicated that if the registrar refused to complete the marriage, the case would be brought before the Supreme Court of Justice with a request for the state law limiting marriage to one man and one woman to be declared unconstitutional.
- (4 July): The state of Colima amended its Constitution to allow for same-sex civil unions.
- (8 August): Two men became the first same-sex couple to legally marry in the state of Yucatán.
- (23 December): Campeche legalized same-sex and opposite-sex civil unions.
- (11 February): The Congress of Coahuila legalized adoption by same-sex couples, by repealing Article 385-7 of the Civil Code.
- (21 March): Mexico declared, by presidential decree, May 17 as the National Day Against Homophobia. See also: International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.
- (1 September): The Congress of Coahuila legalized same-sex marriage, by changing the Civil Code of the state.
- (13 November): The Legislative Assembly of Mexico City approved a gender identity law, making the process for transgender people to change gender much quicker and simpler.
- 2015: (26 February): The Constitutional Court of the State of Yucatán announced that it will decide on 2 March whether state prohibitions against same-sex marriage are in violation of the Federal Constitution and international agreements.
- (2 March): The Constitutional Court of Yucatán dismissed the appeal for constitutional action to change the Civil Code. Supporters of amending the code promised to appeal the decision.
- (3 June): The Supreme Court of Justice of the nation released a "jurisprudential thesis" expanding the definition of marriage to encompass same-sex couples as state laws restricting it were deemed unconstitutional and discriminatory.
- (12 June): The state of Chihuahua legalized same-sex marriage and adoption after the Governor announced that his administration would no longer oppose same-sex marriages within the state. The order was effective immediately.
- (10 July): The Governor of Guerrero instructed civil agencies to approve same-sex marriage licenses.
- (21 July): The municipality of Santiago de Querétaro stopped enforcing Querétaro's same-sex marriage ban and began allowing same-sex couples to marry in the municipality.
- (11 August): The Mexican Supreme Court ruled, in a 9-1 decision, that Campeche's ban on same-sex couples adopting children was unconstitutional.
- (7 September): The Congress of Michoacán legalized domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.
- (22 December): Same-sex marriage became legal in the state of Nayarit.
- 2016: (26 January): The Mexican Supreme Court unanimously struck down Jalisco's same-sex marriage ban.
- (5 May): Colima repealed its civil union law as well as its constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
- (12 May): The Congress of Jalisco complied with the Supreme Court decision and instructed all the state's municipalities to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
- (17 May): The Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto, announced that he had signed an initiative to amend Article 4 of the Mexican Constitution, which would legalize same-sex marriage nationwide.
- (20 May): Same-sex marriage became legal in Campeche, after the state Congress legalized such marriages in a 34-1 vote 10 days prior.
- (12 June): Same-sex marriage and adoption became legal in the state of Colima.
- (23 June): A bill allowing for legal same-sex marriages and adoptions came into effect in Michoacán.
- (5 July): A reform to the Constitution of Morelos, which legalized same-sex marriage and adoption in the state, took effect.
- (11 September): The head of Veracruz's adoption agency announced that same-sex couples may adopt children jointly in the state.
- (18 September): The municipality of San Pedro Cholula, located in the state of Puebla, announced that any same-sex couple who wishes to marry may do so in the municipality.
- (23 September): The Mexican Supreme Court finalized the ruling in the adoption case against Campeche and issued a nationwide jurisprudence which binds all lower court judges to rule in favor of same-sex couples seeking adoption and parental rights.
- (26 September): The state of Campeche lifted its same-sex adoption ban.
- (22 February): The head of Baja California's adoption agency announced that same-sex couples have the right to adopt in the state.
- (28 February) The Supreme Court gave Chihuahua 90 days to amend its Civil Code to reflect the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in the state.
- (26 April): The head of Querétaro's adoption agency confirmed that same-sex couples may adopt in the state.
- (31 May): The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal against the March 2015 Yucatán Constitutional Court ruling.
- (11 July): The Supreme Court struck down Chiapas' same-sex marriage ban, legalizing same-sex marriage in the state.
- (13 July): The Michoacán Congress approved a gender identity law.
- (20 July): A gender identity law was approved in the state of Nayarit.
- (1 August): The Supreme Court unanimously struck down Puebla's ban on same-sex marriage.
- (3 November): The State Government of Baja California announced it would immediately cease to enforce its same-sex marriage ban, legalizing such marriages in the state.
- 2018: (9 January): The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that same-sex marriage and the recognition of one's gender identity on official documents are human rights protected by the American Convention on Human Rights. Mexico is a signatory to the Convention.
- (15 May): The Mexican Supreme Court ordered Sinaloa to legalize same-sex marriage within 90 days.
- (1 July): The 2018 general elections resulted in the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), a pro-same-sex marriage left-wing party, winning the majority of legislative seats in 12 states where same-sex marriage has not yet been legalized. MORENA along with the pro-same-sex marriage Labor Party also won an absolute majority in the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.
- (1 July): President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador became the first Mexican President to mention LGBT people in his first public speech. "The state will stop being a committee at the service of a minority and will represent all Mexicans: rich and poor, rural and urban dwellers, migrants, believers and non-believers, human beings of all currents of thought and of all sexual preferences. We will listen to everyone, we will attend to everyone. We will respect everyone, but we will give preference to the most humble and the forgotten, especially the indigenous peoples of Mexico", he said.
- (6 September): The Supreme Court gave the state of Tamaulipas 90 days to legalize same-sex marriage.
1970 to present
During the early 1970s, influenced by the U.S. gay liberation movement and the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre, small political and cultural groups were formed. Initially, they were strongly linked to the political left and, to a degree, feminist organizations. One of the first LGBT groups in Latin America was the Homosexual Liberation Front (Frente de Liberación Homosexual), organized in 1971 in response to the firing of a Sears employee because of his allegedly homosexual behavior in Mexico City.
The Homosexual Front of Revolutionary Action (Frente Homosexual de Acción Revolucionaria) protested the 1983 roundups in Guadalajara, Jalisco. The onset of AIDS during the mid-1980s created considerable debate and public discussion about homosexuality. Many voices, both supportive and opposing (such as the Roman Catholic Church), participated in public discussions that increased awareness and understanding of homosexuality. LGBT groups were instrumental in initiating programs to combat AIDS, which was a shift in focus that curtailed (at least temporarily) the emphasis on gay organizing.
In 1991, Mexico hosted a meeting of the International Gay and Lesbian Association (ILGA), which was its first meeting outside Europe. In 1997, LGBT activists were active in constructing the political platform that resulted in Patria Jiménez (a lesbian activist in Mexico City) being selected for proportional representation in the Chamber of Deputies representing the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). LGBT rights advocate David Sánchez Camacho was also elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Federal District (ALDF).
In August 1999, the First Meeting of Lesbians and Lesbian Feminists was held in Mexico City. From this meeting evolved an organized effort for expanded LGBT rights in the country's capital. The following month, the PRD-controlled Legislative Assembly passed an ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, the first of its kind in Mexico.
Visible (and well-attended) LGBT marches and pride parades have been held in Mexico City since 1979 and in Guadalajara since 1996, the country's largest cities. In 2001, Article 1 of the Federal Constitution was amended to prohibit discrimination based (among other factors) on sexual orientation under the vague term preferences. On 11 June 2003, an anti-discrimination federal law took effect, creating a national council to enforce it. The same year, Amaranta Gómez ran as the first transgender congresswoman candidate affiliated with the former Mexico Posible party. In June 2011, the more precise term "sexual preferences" was inserted into Article 1 of the Constitution.
LGBT people in Mexico have organized in a variety of ways: through local organizations, marches, and the development of the Commission to Denounce Hate Crimes. Mexico has a thriving LGBT movement with organizations in various large cities throughout the country and numerous LGBT publications (most prominently in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Tijuana, and Puebla), the majority at the local level (since national efforts often disintegrate before gaining traction).
Recognition of same-sex relationships
The United Mexican States is a federation composed of thirty-one states and a federal district, also known as Mexico City. Although a Federal Civil Code exists, each state has its own code that regulates concubinage and marriage. Civil unions and same-sex marriages are not recognized at the federal level. Most states, however, have considered legislation on these issues.
In November 2013, Fernado Mayans, Senator for the state of Tabasco and representing the Democratic Revolution Party, presented a proposal of changes to the Federal Civil Code in which marriage would be defined as "the free union of two people". The proposal was turned over to the Justice, Legal Studies and Human Rights commissions in the Senate to be further studied.
A provision in the Mexican Code allows that five rulings in a state with the same outcome on the same issue override a statute and establish the legal jurisprudence to overturn it. This means that if 5 injunctions ("amparo" in Spanish) are won in a state, the law has to be changed so that marriage becomes legal for all same-sex couples. It is also important to note that a same-sex marriage performed in any state is valid in all of the other states in Mexico, even if any particular state has no laws that allow it, according to federal law.
On 14 June 2015, the Supreme Court of Justice declared it unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples in all states. This does not legalize same-sex marriages nationwide, but in turn means that whenever a state government has an injunction taken out by a couple looking to get marital recognition, they will have to grant it and consider legalization when a certain number of injunctions is fulfilled.
On 17 May 2016, the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, signed an initiative to change the country's Constitution, which would have legalized same-sex marriage throughout Mexico pending congressional approval. On 9 November 2016, the committee rejected the initiative 19 votes to 8. However, legislation to allow same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples is currently pending in almost every Mexican state.
The 2018 elections resulted in the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) winning a majority of legislative seats in 12 states where same-sex marriage has yet to be legalized (Durango, Guerrero, Hidalgo, México, Oaxaca, San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tlaxcala, Veracruz and Zacatecas), as well as an outright majority together with the Labor Party in the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, and the presidency. LGBT activists have since intensified their calls to legalize same-sex marriage at the federal and state levels. Policital parties supportive of same-sex marriage which include MORENA, the Labor Party, PRD and the Citizens' Movement won a total of 303 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 81 seats in the Senate. In addition, supporters of same-sex marriage can be found in the remaining parties.
In 2000, Enoé Uranga, an openly lesbian politician and activist, proposed a bill legalizing same-sex civil unions in Mexico City under the name Ley de Sociedades de Convivencia (LSC, or "Law for Coexistence Partnerships"). The bill would have recognized the inheritance and pension rights of two adults, regardless of sexual orientation. Because of widespread opposition from right-wing groups and Mayor Andrés Manuel López Obrador's ambiguity concerning the bill, the Legislative Assembly decided not to consider it.
On 24 November 2009, assemblyman David Razú, a member of the Party of the Democratic Revolution, proposed a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Mexico City. The bill was backed by the Human Rights Commission of Mexico City and over 600 non-governmental organizations, including the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, Amnesty International, and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The National Action Party (PAN) announced it would either appeal the law in court or demand a referendum.
The referendum proposal was rejected by the Legislative Assembly on a 36–22 vote on 18 December 2009. On 21 December 2009, the Legislative Assembly passed the bill by a vote of 39–20 with five abstentions. Eight days later, Mayor Marcelo Ebrard signed the bill into law. It took effect on March 4, 2010. The law changed the definition of marriage in the city's Civil Code to "a free union between two people". It also granted same-sex couples the right to adopt children.
In February 2010, the Supreme Court rejected constitutional challenges by six states to the Mexico City law. The Federal Attorney General, however, had separately challenged the law as unconstitutional, citing an article in the Constitution of Mexico that refers to "protecting the family". Five months later, the Supreme Court ruled 9–2 that the law did not violate the Constitution.
Civil unions by state
On 11 January 2007, the Congress of the northern state of Coahuila legalized same-sex civil unions (by a 20–13 vote) under the name Pacto Civil de Solidaridad ("Civil Pact of Solidarity"; PCS), giving property and inheritance rights to same-sex couples. The PCS was proposed by Congresswoman Julieta López of the centrist PRI, whose nineteen members voted for the law. Luis Alberto Mendoza, deputy of the center-right PAN (which opposed), said the new law was an "attack against the family, which is society's natural group and is formed by a man and a woman". Apart from that, the PCS drew little opposition and was (notably) supported by Bishop Raúl Vera. Unlike Mexico City's law, once same-sex couples have registered in Coahuila, the state protects their rights (no matter where they live in Mexico). Twenty days after the law passed, the country's first same-sex civil union took place in Saltillo, Coahuila.
On 11 April 2013, the Party of the Democratic Revolution introduced a measure to legalize civil unions in Campeche. The bill was unanimously passed on 20 December 2013, and while it covers both same-sex and opposite-sex couples, it specifically provides that it "shall not constitute a civil partnership of people living together in marriage and cohabitation." An additional distinction is that it is not filed with the Civil Registrar, but with the Public Registry of Property and Trade.
In July 2013, the Congress of Colima approved a constitutional amendment authorizing same-sex couples to legally formalize their unions by entering into marital bonds with the "same rights and obligations with respect to the contracting of civil marriage". On 5 May 2016, the civil union law was repealed.
In 2013, deputies of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Ecologist Green Party of Mexico (PVEM), Citizens' Movement (MC) and an independent deputy presented the Free Coexistence Act (Ley de Libre Convivencia) to the Congress of Jalisco. The Act established that same-sex civil unions can be performed in the state, as long as they are not considered marriages. It did not legalize adoption and mandated that civil unions be performed with a civil law notary. On 31 October 2013, the Jalisco Congress approved the Act in a 20–15 vote, one abstained and three were absent. The law took effect on 1 January 2014.
On 27 August 2015, the Justice and Human Rights Committee announced it would enact a civil union law for same-sex couples in Michoacán. It was approved unanimously in a 34-0 vote by the full Michoacán Congress on 7 September 2015. The law was published on 30 September 2015 in the state's official journal.
Same-sex marriage by state
On 28 November 2011, the first two same-sex marriages occurred in Quintana Roo after it was discovered that Quintana Roo's Civil Code did not explicitly prohibit same-sex marriage, but these marriages were later annulled by the Governor of Quintana Roo in April 2012. In May 2012, the Secretary of State of Quintana Roo reversed the annulments and allowed for future same-sex marriages to be performed in the state.
Mexico's Supreme Court ruled in December 2012 that Oaxaca's marriage law was unconstitutional because it limited the ceremony to a man and a woman with the goal to "perpetuate the species". In 2013, a lesbian couple became the first same-sex couple to marry after this ruling.
On 11 February 2014, the Congress of Coahuila approved adoptions by same-sex couples and a bill legalizing same-sex marriages passed on 1 September 2014, making Coahuila the second jurisdiction in Mexico to reform its Civil Code to allow for legal same-sex marriages. It took effect on 17 September, and the first couple married on 20 September.
On 12 June 2015, the Governor of Chihuahua announced that his administration would no longer oppose same-sex marriages within the state. The order was effective immediately, thus making Chihuahua the third state to legalize such unions.
On 25 June 2015, following the Supreme Court's ruling, a civil registrar in Guerrero announced that they had planned a collective same-sex marriage ceremony for 10 July 2015 and indicated that there would have to be a change to the law to allow gender-neutral marriage, passed through the state Legislature before the official commencement. The registry announced more details of their plan, advising that only select registration offices in the state would be able to participate in the collective marriage event. The Governor instructed civil agencies to approve same-sex marriage licenses. On 10 July 2015, 20 same-sex couples were married by Governor Rogelio Ortega in Acapulco. By March 2017, however, all the state's municipalities had stopped marrying same-sex couples.
On 17 December 2015, the Congress of Nayarit approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. In January 2016, the Mexican Supreme Court declared Jalisco's Civil Code unconstitutional for limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples, effectively legalizing same-sex marriage in the state. On 10 May 2016, the Congress of Campeche passed a same-sex marriage bill. On 18 May 2016, both Michoacán and Morelos passed bills allowing for same-sex marriage to be legal. On 25 May 2016, a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Colima was approved by the state Congress.
On 11 July 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that Chiapas' same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional and discriminatory, legalizing same-sex marriage in the state. On 1 August 2017, the Supreme Court similarly struck down Puebla's ban.
On 29 April 2003, the Federal Congress unanimously passed the Federal Law to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination, including sexual orientation as a protected category. The law, which went into effect on 11 June 2003, created the National Council to Prevent Discrimination (CONAPRED) to enforce it. Mexico became the second country in Latin America, after Ecuador, to provide anti-discrimination protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Article 4 of the law defines discrimination as:
"Every distinction, exclusion or restriction based on ethnic or national origin, sex, age, disability, social or economic status, health, pregnancy, language, religion, opinion, sexual preferences, civil status or any other, that impedes recognition or enjoyment or fights and real equality in terms of opportunities for people."— Article 4, Federal Law to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination
Article 9 defines "discriminatory behavior" as:
"Impeding access to public or private education; prohibiting free choice of employment, restricting access, permanency or promotion in employment; denying or restricting information on reproductive rights; denying medical services; impeding participation in civil, political or any other kind of organizations; impeding the exercise of property rights; offending, ridiculing or promoting violence through messages and images displayed in communications media; impeding access to social security and its benefits; impeding access to any public service or private institution providing services to the public; limiting freedom of movement; exploiting or treating in an abusive or degrading way; restricting participation in sports, recreation or cultural activities; incitement to hatred, violence, rejection, ridicule, defamation, slander, persecution or exclusion; promoting or indulging in physical or psychological abuse based on physical appearance or dress, talk, mannerisms or for openly acknowledging one's sexual preferences."— Article 9, Federal Law to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination
CONAPRED is an organ of the state created by Federal Law to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination, adopted on 29 April 2003, and published in the Official Journal of the Federation (Diario Oficial de la Federación) on June 11. The Council is the leading institution for promoting policies and measures contributing to cultural development and social progress in social inclusion and the right to equality, which is the first fundamental right in the Federal Constitution.
CONAPRED is also responsible for receiving and resolving grievances and complaints of alleged discriminatory acts committed by private individuals or federal authorities in carrying out their duties. CONAPRED also protects citizens with any distinction (or exclusion), based on any aspect mentioned in Article 4 of the federal law. The Council has legal personality, owns property, and is part of the Interior Ministry. Technical and management decisions are independent for its resolutions on claims and complaints.
In 2011, the Mexican Constitution was amended to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. An amendment to the Constitution requires ratification by at least 16 states. The states of Aguascalientes, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Durango, Guerrero, México, Michoacán, Nayarit, Querétaro, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosí, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Yucatán and Zacatecas subsequently ratified the amendment.
LGBT speech laws
Mexico's Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that two anti-gay words, "puñal" and "maricones", are not protected as freedom of expression under the Constitution, allowing people offended by the terms to sue for moral damages.
Adoption and parenting
Same-sex couples aren't allowed to adopt in every state in Mexico. Mexico City along with the states of Baja California, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Michoacán, Morelos, Puebla, Querétaro and Veracruz allow for same-sex couples to adopt children jointly.
Mexico City legalized same-sex adoptions in March 2010, when its same-sex marriage law took effect. On 24 November 2011, the Coahuila Supreme Court struck down the state's law barring same-sex couples from adopting. The state complied with the ruling in February 2014 and legalized such adoptions. According to the Chihuahua DIF, the Office of the Defense of Children and the Family in the state performs the same protocol for all couples seeking to adopt regardless of their sexual orientation.
On 11 August 2015, the Mexican Supreme Court ruled, in a 9-1 decision, that Campeche's ban on same-sex couples adopting children was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court struck down Article 19 of Campeche's civil union law which outlawed adoption by couples in civil unions. Children's rights were cited as the main reason for the Court's decision. The ruling set a constitutional precedent, meaning all bans in Mexico forbidding same-sex couples from adopting are unconstitutional and discriminatory. On 23 September 2016, the Mexican Supreme Court finalized the ruling in the adoption case against Campeche and issued a nationwide jurisprudence which binds all lower court judges to rule in favor of same-sex couples seeking adoption and parental rights. Campeche lifted its adoption ban three days later.
Colima, Michoacán and Morelos legalized such adoptions following the approval of their respective same-sex marriage laws in May 2016. In September 2016, the head of Veracruz's adoption agency announced that same-sex couples may adopt children jointly in the state. In February 2017 and April 2017, the heads of Baja California's and Querétaro's adoption agencies made similar statements, confirming that same-sex couples are allowed to legally adopt in their respective states. Following the Supreme Court's ruling which struck down Chiapas' same-sex marriage ban, officials from the state confirmed that same-sex couples are allowed to adopt, like married opposite-sex couples. Puebla officials similarly confirmed that same-sex couples are allowed to adopt, after the August 2017 Supreme Court ruling striking down Puebla's marriage ban.
The Mexican Armed Forces' policy on sexual orientation is ambiguous, leaving homosexual and bisexual soldiers in a "legal limbo". Officially, there is no law or policy preventing homosexuals from serving, and applicants are not questioned on the subject. In practice, however, outed homosexual and bisexual soldiers are subject to severe harassment and are often discharged. One directive, issued in 2003, described actions "en contra de la moral o de las buenas costumbres dentro y fuera del servicio [sic]" ("contrary to morality or good manners on- and off-duty") as serious misconduct warranting disciplinary action. Other references to morality are found throughout military documents, leaving room for interpretation with regards to sexual orientation. Although there is no clear position from current military leadership, several retired generals have agreed that homosexual soldiers were usually removed from service either through an encouraged withdrawal or dishonorable discharge.
Gender identity and expression
On 13 March 2004, amendments to the Mexico City Civil Code that allow transgender people to change their gender and name on their birth certificates took effect. In September 2008, the PRD-controlled Mexico City Legislative Assembly approved a law, in a 37-17 vote, making gender changes easier for transgender people.
On 13 November 2014, the Legislative Assembly of Mexico City unanimously (46-0) approved a gender identity law. The law makes it easier for transgender people to change their legal gender. Under the new law, they simply have to notify the Civil Registry that they wish to change the gender information on their birth certificates. Sex reassignment surgery, psychological therapies or any other type of diagnosis are no longer required. The law took effect in early 2015.
In August 2018, in two separate cases, federal judges in Chihuahua and Tamaulipas ordered the modification of a transgender woman's birth certificate.
In August 2012, new health regulations allowing for gay and bisexual men to donate blood were approved. The regulations were published in the country's regulatory diary in October and took effect on Christmas Day, 25 December 2012.
A 2013 Pew Research Center opinion survey showed that 61% of Mexicans believed homosexuality should be accepted by society, while 30% believed it should not. Younger people were more accepting than people over 50: 70% of people between 18 and 29 believed it should be accepted, 60% of people between 30 and 49 and 52% of people over 50. There was a slight increase in acceptance since 2007, when a Pew Research poll showed that 60% of the population believed homosexuality should be accepted.
In May 2015, PlanetRomeo, an LGBT social network, published its first Gay Happiness Index (GHI). Gay men from over 120 countries and territories were asked about how they feel about society’s view on homosexuality, how do they experience the way they are treated by other people and how satisfied are they with their lives. Mexico was ranked 32, just above Portugal and below Curaçao, with a GHI score of 56.
Following President Enrique Peña Nieto's proposal to legalize same-sex marriage in Mexico, a poll on the issue was carried out by Gabinete de Comunicación Estratégica. 69% of respondents were in favor of the change. 64% said they saw it as an advance in the recognition of human rights. Public opinion changed radically over the course of 16 years. In 2000, 62% felt that same-sex marriage should not be allowed under any circumstances. In 2016, only 25% felt that way.
According to the first National Poll on Discrimination (2005) in Mexico (conducted by the CONAPRED), 48 percent of the Mexican people interviewed indicated that they would not permit a homosexual to live in their house. 95 percent of gays interviewed indicated that in Mexico there was discrimination against them; four out of ten declared they were a victim of exclusionary acts; more than half said they felt rejected, and six out of ten felt their worst enemy was society.
LGBT social life thrives in the country's largest cities and resorts. The center of the Mexico City LGBT community is the Zona Rosa, where over 50 gay bars and dance clubs exist. Surrounding the nation's capital, there is a substantial LGBT culture in the State of Mexico Although some observers claim that gay life is more developed in Mexico's second-largest city, Guadalajara.
Other centers include border city Tijuana, northern city Monterrey, central cities Puebla and León, and major port city Veracruz. The popularity of gay tourism (especially in Puerto Vallarta, Cancún, and elsewhere) has also drawn national attention to the presence of homosexuality in Mexico. Among young, urban heterosexuals, it has become popular to attend gay dance clubs and to have openly gay friends.
In 1979, the country's first LGBT Pride parade (also known as the LGBT Pride March) was held in Mexico City and was attended by over 1,000 people. Ever since, the parade has been held each June with different themes. It aims to bring visibility to sexual minorities, raise consciousness about AIDS and HIV, denounce homophobia, and demand the creation of public policies such as the recognition of civil unions, same-sex marriages, and the legalization of LGBT adoption. According to organizers, the XXXI LGBT Pride parade in 2009 was attended by over 350,000 people (100,000 more than its predecessor). Attendance was 500,000 in 2010, and 250,000 in 2018.
In 2003, the first Lesbian Pride March was held in the nation's capital. In Guadalajara, well-attended LGBT Pride parades have also been held each June since 1996. Consecutive pride parades have been held in Monterrey, Tijuana, Puebla, Veracruz, Xalapa, Cuernavaca, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Acapulco, Chilpancingo, and Mérida.
Same-sex sexual acts are legal in Mexico, but LGBT people have been prosecuted through the use of legal codes that regulate obscene or lurid behavior (atentados a la moral y las buenas costumbres). Over the past twenty years, there have been reports of violence against gay men, including the murders of openly gay men in Mexico City and of transvestites in the southern state of Chiapas. Local activists believe that these cases often remain unsolved, blaming the police for a lack of interest in investigating them and for assuming that gays are somehow responsible for attacks against them.
In mid-2007, Emilio Alvarez Icaza Longoria (chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Mexico City) said he was deeply concerned that Mexico City had the worst record for homophobic hate crimes, with 137 such crimes reported between 1995 and 2005. Journalist and author (Homophobia, Hate, Crime and Justice 1995–2005) Fernando del Collado affirmed that during the decade covered by his book, 387 hate crimes due to homophobia were committed in Mexico (98 percent of which remained unprosecuted).
Del Collado expressed his concern about a lack of prosecution and reported that according to the Citizens Commission Against Hate Crime because of Homophobia (CCCOH), three homosexuals are murdered per month in Mexico. Del Collado indicated that between 1995 and 2005, 126 homosexuals were murdered in Mexico City. Of those, 75 percent were reclaimed by their families. In 10 percent of the cases, families identified the victim but did not reclaim their bodies (which were buried in common graves) and the remaining 5 percent were never identified.
Former assistant attorney for crime victims at the Federal District Attorney General's Office (PGJDF) Barbara Illan Rondero strongly criticized the lack of sensitivity and professionalism on the part of investigators in crimes committed against homosexuals and lesbians:
"I still can't determine if this is due to negligence, lack of preparation or down-right covering up and is a matter that has to do with the intention of not solving these crimes because they carry no weight of importance".
Alejandro Brito Lemus, director of the news supplement Letra S ("Letter S"), claimed in 2007 that only four percent of gays and lesbians who suffer from discrimination present their complaints to authorities:
"In spite of the gravity of the aggressions suffered, the majority of gays, lesbians and transsexuals prefer to keep silent about what happens and to remain isolated in fear of being attacked again in revealing their sexual orientation".
LGBT participation is a part of the long-governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Since the triumph of the Liberals under President Benito Juárez in the 1860s and the 1910 Revolution, there has been separation of church and state in Mexico. With morality generally considered the province of the Church, the PRI (which considers itself the party of the Revolution) has generally been reluctant to be seen as implementing the will of the Catholic Church. However, it has also been careful not to offend Catholic moral sensibilities.
In 1998, President Ernesto Zedillo (of the PRI) appointed Pedro Joaquín-Coldwell (an openly bisexual politician and former Governor of Quintana Roo) to be the Ambassador to Cuba. Nevertheless, most individual officeholders tend to view LGBT issues as a private matter (to be ignored) or a moral problem (to be opposed). The PRI has allied with the PAN to block legislation concerning LGBT rights in some states (except in some cases). The party unanimously voted in favor of the recognition of same-sex civil unions in Mexico City and Coahuila, for instance. There was some internal debate within the PRI whether or not the party should have a platform plank on the issue.
The National Action Party (PAN), a rightist party, tends to endorse Roman Catholic Church teachings and oppose LGBT issues on moral grounds. Some PAN mayors have adopted ordinances (or policies) leading to the closing of gay bars or the detention of transvestites (usually on prostitution charges). Many of its leaders have taken public stands describing homosexuality as "abnormal", a "sickness", or a "moral weakness". Nevertheless, in Campeche and Nayarit, PAN deputies voted unanimously to legalize same-sex marriage.
In the 2000 presidential elections, PAN candidate (and eventual winner) Vicente Fox used homosexual stereotypes to demean and humiliate his principal opponent (Francisco Labastida). Fox accused Labastida of being a sissy and a mama's boy and nicknamed him Lavestida ("the cross-dressed"). When Mexico City and Coahuila legalized same-sex civil unions, the chief opposition came from the PAN, former President Vicente Fox and former President Felipe Calderón. Since then, the party has opposed similar bills, with the rationale of protecting traditional family values. Nonetheless, PAN officials have insisted that homosexuals have rights as human beings and should in no case be subjected to hatred or physical violence.
Participation by sexual minorities is widely accepted in the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), one of Mexico's three major political parties. Since its creation during the late 1980s, the PRD has supported LGBT rights and has a party program committed to ending discrimination on the basis of sexual diversity. In the 1997 parliamentary elections, Patria Jiménez became the first openly lesbian member of the Federal Congress, and LGBT rights advocate David Sánchez Camacho was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Federal District (ALDF).
Two years later, the PRD-controlled Legislative Assembly passed an ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation (the first of its kind in the country). In 2004, a bill concerning gender identity was passed, allowing transgender people to change their gender and sex on official documents. In the 2009 parliamentary elections, of the 38 LGBT candidates presented by several political parties, only Enoé Uranga succeeded: an openly lesbian politician who, in 2000, promoted the legalization of same-sex civil unions in Mexico City. The bill passed six years later in the PRD-controlled Legislative Assembly, allowing same-sex couples inheritance and pension rights. Similar bills have been proposed by the PRD in many more states.
The defunct Social Democratic Party (PSD), a minor progressive party, was noted for its support of the LGBT community. In the 2006 presidential elections Patricia Mercado, the first woman presidential candidate, was the only candidate openly supporting same-sex marriage. In the 2009 parliamentary elections, the party nominated 32 LGBT candidates (out of a total of 38 presented by other parties) for seats in the Federal Congress.
In the municipality of Guadalajara, the second-largest city of Mexico, Miguel Galán became the first openly gay politician to run for mayor in the country. During his campaign, Galán was a target of homophobic comments, notably by Green Party rival Gamaliel Ramírez (who, on a radio show, joked about homosexuals and referred to the PSD as "a dirty party of degenerates"). Ramírez also called homosexual practices "abnormal" and said they should be outlawed. The following day, Ramírez issued a written apology after his party condemned his comments. Despite losing the election, Galán received 7,122 votes.
The first AIDS case in Mexico was diagnosed in 1983. Based on retrospective analyses and other public-health investigative techniques, HIV in Mexico may be traced back to 1981. LGBT groups were instrumental in initiating programs to combat AIDS—a shift in focus which curtailed (at least temporarily) an emphasis on gay organizing.
The National Center for the Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS (CENSIDA) is a program promoting prevention and control of the AIDS pandemic with public policies, promotion of sexual health, and other evidence-based strategies. It aims to diminish the transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted diseases and to improve the quality of life of affected people (within a framework of the common good). CENSIDA has been active since 1988 and collaborates with other government agencies and non-governmental organizations (including those for persons living with HIV/AIDS).
According to a 2011 estimate, 0.2 percent of persons aged 15–49 were HIV-positive, which along with Cuba and Nicaragua was the lowest rate in Latin America and the Caribbean. In absolute numbers, an estimated 180,000 people in Mexico were living with HIV in 2011, the second-largest affected population in the region after Brazil. According to CENSIDA, as of 2009, over 220,000 adults are HIV-positive; 60 percent are men who have sex with men, 23 percent are heterosexual women and 6 percent are commercial sex workers' clients (mainly heterosexuals). Over 90 percent of the reported cases were the result of sexual transmission.
The spread of HIV in Mexico is exacerbated by stigma and discrimination, which act as a barrier to prevention, testing and treatment. Stigmatization occurs within families, in health services, with the police, and in the workplace. A study conducted by Infante-Xibille in 2004 of 373 health care providers in three Mexican states described discrimination within health services. Testing was conducted only with perceived high-risk groups (often without informed consent), and AIDS patients were often isolated.
A 2005 five-city participatory community assessment by Colectivo Sol (a non-governmental organization) found that some HIV hospital patients had a sign over their beds stating they were HIV-positive. In León, Guanajuato, researchers found that 7 out of 10 people in the study had lost their jobs because of their HIV status. The same study also documented evidence of discrimination that men who have sex with men experienced within their families.
In August 2008, Mexico hosted the 17th International AIDS Conference, a meeting that contributed to overcoming stigmas and highlighting the achievements in the struggle against the illness. In late 2009, Health Secretary José Ángel Córdova said in a statement that Mexico had met the United Nations Millennium Development Goal concerning HIV/AIDS (which demanded that countries begin to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS before 2015). The HIV infection rate then was 0.4 percent, below the 0.6 percent target set by the World Health Organization for Mexico.
About 70 percent of people requesting treatment for HIV/AIDS arrive without symptoms of the disease, which increases life expectancy by at least 25 years. Treatment for HIV/AIDS in Mexico is free, and is offered at 57 specialized clinics to people living with HIV. The Mexican Government spends about $2 billion MXN (US $151.9 million) each year fighting the disease.
|Same-sex sexual acts legal||(Since 1871)|
|Equal age of consent||(Since 1871)|
|Anti-discrimination laws in employment||(Since 2003)|
|Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services||(Since 2003)|
|Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech)||(Since 2003)|
|Same-sex marriage(s)||/[note 1] (Pending in all states)|
|Recognition of same-sex couples||(Since 2010)|
|Adoption by single LGBT persons|
|Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples||/[note 2] (Pending in all states)|
|Joint adoption by same-sex couples||/[note 2] (Pending in all states)|
|Gays, lesbians and bisexuals allowed to serve in the military|
|Right to change legal gender||/[note 3]|
|Automatic parenthood on birth certificates for children of same-sex couples|
|Conversion therapy banned on minors|
|Access to IVF for lesbians|
|Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples|
|MSMs allowed to donate blood||(Since 2012)|
- Performed only in Mexico City, Baja California, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, Puebla, Quintana Roo and parts of Querétaro but recognised throughout the country
- Only in Mexico City, Baja California, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Michoacán, Morelos, Puebla, Querétaro and Veracruz
- Only in Mexico City, Michoacán and Nayarit
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- IV Sesión
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- (in Spanish) Está suspendido el matrimonio igualitario en Zihuatanejo; Registro Civil
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- "Mexico's top court says anti-gay terms are hate speech not protected by freedom of expression", The Washington Post, reported by the Associated Press, 7 March 2013
- Buscan 8 parejas gay casarse en Matrimonios Colectivos Archived 6 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
- (in Spanish) Parejas gay en Chiapas podrán adoptar, acceder a la salud…
- (in Spanish) Parejas del mismo sexo podrán adoptar, asegura PRD
- Gay in Mexico: A Cautious Quinceañera
- (in Spanish)Ordenan cambiar en acta identidad de transgénero
- Mexico Lifts Blood Donation Ban for Gay and Bisexual Men
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- "Tijuana, Baja California" (in Spanish). Antros Gay. Archived from the original on 9 February 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2009.
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- Francisco Iglesias (31 August 2009). "Copian gays en Cuernavaca vicios de la marcha gay en el DF" (in Spanish). NotiGay. Archived from the original on 12 December 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2009.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to LGBT in Mexico.|
- National Council to Prevent Discrimination — official website.
- National Center for the Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS — official website.
- Anodis — Mexican news agency about sexual diversity.
- Equaldex — LGBT Rights in Mexico