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Posts for September, 2011

Mexican Lawyer Faces 14 Months Imprisonment For Defending Gay Educator

Jim Burroway

September 13th, 2011

In 2009, a gay man, Agustín Estrada Negrete, was fired as head of a school for children of disabilities in the state of Mexico, just west of Mexico City. Jaime López Vela, a human rights lawyer with Agenda LGBT,  agreed to help him. They set up a meeting with officials with the state of Mexico in Toluca. A group of supportive parents organized a protest in front if the state offices, when police came in and arrested López and charged him with “insult to police and obstruction on the road.” Other protesters, including, mothers and children, were beaten as they tried to prevent the arrests. López, who would later be the first to be married by the mayor of Mexico City when same-sex marriages became legal, was beaten several times during his detention and is still facing 14 months in prison for that incident. Estrada was also arrested and beaten, and he has since fled to the U.S. and is seeking asylum. And Paul Canning has the gory details.

Couple recognition in Latin America

Timothy Kincaid

August 10th, 2011

As it stands, much of Latin America either has some form of couple recognition or is in the process of doing so.

Marriage – Argentina 2010
Marriage – Mexico 2010 – marriage must occur in Mexico City but recognized throughout
Civil Unions – Uruguay 2007
Civil Unions – Ecuador 2008
Civil Unions – Brazil 2011
Proposed – Colombia 2011 – Court directed the legislature to draft law
Proposed – Chile 2011 – President proposed Life Partnership (Civil Unions) bill

Tensions Rise in Guadalajara

Jim Burroway

August 22nd, 2010
YouTube Preview Image

Gay rights supporters during Sunday morning's protest in Guadalajara

First off, let me begin by saying that I’m having trouble with the AP’s headline (“Mexican Catholics, gay rights protesters face off“) because more than three-quarters of all Mexicans identify as Roman Catholic, including undoubtedly a similar proportion of LGBT Mexicans. But tensions do appear to be rising in Guadalajara, home to Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez, who accused the mayor of Mexico City of bribing the nation’s Supreme Court to find that Mexico City’s marriage equality law was constitutional. The Court then followed that with another ruling declaring that LGBT people cannot be discriminated against in adoption. As Timothy Kincaid noted, Iniguez’ head exploded, and claimed he had “proof” that the fix is in. But also in that LA Times story, we have this:

Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez, archbishop of Guadalajara and one of the most senior prelates in the nation, in recent days made especially harsh comments widely seen here as offensive. His statement set off a firestorm in a country where, by law, the church is not supposed to get involved in politics.

Calling same-sex unions an “aberration,” he said, “Would you want to be adopted by a pair of faggots or lesbians?”

So that set the stage for Sunday morning’s march by LGBT advocates at the plaza next to Guadalajara’s Cathedral. According to the AP, they were met by a similar number of protesters opposed to the court’s decision. The AP reports that “One of them ripped up a sign held by a gay rights activist, prompting screaming by both sides.”

Writing for the blog for the magazine U.S. Catholic, Bryan Cones laments the Cardinal’s rhetoric, and called him out in particular for hurling anti-gay epithets. And for good reason:

Indeed, the Catholic side of this debate must tread carefully, for several reasons. First, there are many gay and lesbian people in the church, called by God into it through their baptism. Catholic conversation about homosexuality must always keep in mind that we are talking about members of the body of Christ here.

Second, there are more and more Catholic families with openly gay and lesbian children, many of whom are grown and have partners and families of their own. The blood of family being thicker than the waters of baptism, the participants in the Catholic debate about gay marriage must recognize that many Catholic parents long ago accepted the sexuality of their gay children, have come to love their partners, and treasure the grandchildren they have through them.

Cones cited the poll we discussed last month which found that Latino Catholics in California were more likely to vote for marriage equality than any other religious/ethnic combination surveyed, and said, “That’s the family dynamic at work.”

Update: According to this Spanish language report, another confrontation occurred Saturday afternoon between about 400 conservative Catholics and approximately 150 LGBT advocates. The war of words was rough, according to my rough translation:

En ese momento se desató una guerra de consignas: “¡guerra-guerra contra lucifer!” y “¡adopten un perro maricones!”, gritaban los católicos encarando a los grupos gay, quienes respondieron: “¡nos vamos a casar y vamos a adoptar, nos vamos a casar y vamos a adoptar!”

“¡Ustedes dense, pero dejen a los niños en paz!”, profirió un joven católico haciendo la seña del acto sexual; además, ponían el pulgar hacia abajo en señal de desaprobación, y en respuesta los integrantes de la diversidad sexual gritaban “¡pederastas!”

[That’s when a war of words broke out: “War! War against Lucifer” and “Adopt dogs, faggots!” shouted the Catholics confronting the gay groups, who responded, “We’re getting married and we’re going to adopt, we’re getting married and we’re going to adopt!”

“Go ahead, but leave the kids alone,” shouted a young Catholic while making a gesture of a sexual act, and then putting his thumbs down in disapproval. And in response, members of the sexual diversity groups were shouting, “Pedophiles!”

Second Update: My translation of “¡Ustedes dense” as “Go ahead” may be a bit off, according to commenters. I can usually handle straight-on Spanish, but idiomatic expressions often elude me. This one apparently has a crude sexual connotation as well, sort of on the lines of “Go f*ck yourselves.” Classy people, aren’t they?]

Meanwhile, the College of Catholic Lawyers of Mexico announced that will file a request for impeachment before  Mexico’s lower House of Congress against the Supreme Court judges who ruled in favor of marriage equality.

Mexico’s Catholic Church threatens war

Timothy Kincaid

August 20th, 2010

You can’t always trust what you read on the often-nutty Catholic news source LifeSiteNews, but considering the wackadoodle craziness we’ve been hearing from the Catholic hierarchy in Mexico lately, it’s hard to put anything beyond them.

As we told you, Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez of Guadalajara accused the mayor of Mexico City of bribing the nation’s Supreme Court to find that Mexico City’s marriage equality law did not violate the constitution. And he says he has proof.

Mayor Marcelo Ebrard filed a defamation suit against Iniguez. And it is in that context that LifeSiteNews tells us:

The spokesman for the Archdiocese of Mexico City, Hugo Valdemar, is coming out swinging against the socialist political establishment, which is threatening him, the city’s cardinal archbishop and the cardinal archbishop of Guadalajara, with punitive measures following comments condemning the city’s new pro-abortion and gay “marriage” legislation.

Denouncing the “new religious persecution” begun by Mexico City Chief of Government Marcelo Ebrard, which is motivated by “intolerance, hatred, and viscerality,” Valdemar warned that the actions of the mayor could “unleash a war in the country.”

If, indeed, the Church is declaring Holy War on the government, then this is actually becoming serious.

Mexican Catholic Church goes wackadoodle

Timothy Kincaid

August 18th, 2010

The Roman Catholic Church in Mexico is going wackadoodle in a way seldom seen outside the circus (or some of the US’ more colorful anti-gay activists).

Last Sunday, Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez of Guadalajara accused the mayor of Mexico City of bribing the nation’s Supreme Court to find that Mexico City’s marriage equality law did not violate the constitution. Although the Supreme Court unanimously censured his statements, rather than distance themselves from such extremism the rest of the Church hierarchy jumped onboard for a ride on the Wackadoodle Train.

And now Cardinal Iniguez is claiming “proof”. (LA Times)

Mayor Marcelo Ebrard of Mexico City on Wednesday filed a civil suit claiming defamation against Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez of Guadalajara, upping the ante in a high-profile political spat over gay marriage in Mexico that pits emboldened secular institutions against the country’s influential Roman Catholic clergy.

Church authorities were not backing down. Sandoval said Monday he would not retract his comments, and the archdiocese in Guadalajara later said it had proof of the allegations against the Supreme Court justices. Statements in support were issued from the archdiocese in Mexico City, while the Bishops’ Conference of Mexico also said it supports Sandoval.

Now, this is Mexico; anything is possible. But considering that the Bishops also declared same sex marriage to be worse than narcotrafficking, I’m not much inclined to think that they will be able to prove their case.

Mexican Catholic Archdiocese completely jumps the shark

Timothy Kincaid

August 17th, 2010

You think Mexico’s drug cartels are a problem? Well you ain’t seen anything so bad as what’s really destroying the country: Teh Gehs!! (On-Top)

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico has called gay marriage worse than drug trafficking, Mexico daily El Universal reported.

Kidnapping, executions, intimidation, and the all-out war on the Mexican government? Pshaw! That’s nothing compared to Anita and Isabel tying the knot.

Something must be done! The Church must get involved and tell the people how to vote!

The church called for the ouster of the government of Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard.

“He and his government have created laws destructive to the family, the laws do worse damage than drug trafficking,” Hugo Valdemar, spokesman for the Archdiocese, said. “Marcelo Ebrard and his party, the PRD, are determined to destroy us.”

Last Sunday, the cardinal of Guadalajara, Juan Sandoval Iniguez, accused Ebrard of bribing the court to rule in the city’s favor.

Speaking in Aguascalientes, Iniguez said the court would not reach such an “absurd” conclusion unless it was motivated by a large sum of money.

“I do not know of any of you who would like to be adopted by a pair of lesbians or a pair of fags,” he said. “I think not.”

Bring back good ol’ fashioned morality. Bring back the old ways when life was simpler and everyone knew their place, and stayed in it. It’s the Real Catholic way.

Mexican Supreme Court Backs Adoption Rights

Jim Burroway

August 16th, 2010

A little bird tweeted that the Mexican Supreme Court has approved adoption rights for same-sex couples moments ago. This marks the court’s third major decision affecting LGBT couples in Mexico. Two weeks ago, the Mexican Supreme Court upheld Mexico City’s same-sex marriage law as constitutional. Last week, the court ruled that those marriages registered in Mexico City are valid nationwide.

Those ruling’s coupled with today’s development means that Mexico has joined several other nations in zooming ahead of the United States in enshrining equal rights under the law.

Marriage equality comes to all of Mexico

Timothy Kincaid

August 10th, 2010

According to the AP, all of Mexico is now subject to the New York State approach to marriage equality:

Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that all 31 states must recognize same-sex marriages performed in the capital, though its decision does not force those states to begin marrying gay couples in their territory.

In a 9-2 decision, the tribunal cited an article of the constitution requiring states to recognize legal contracts drawn up elsewhere.

Mexico City’s marriage equality law is legal

Timothy Kincaid

August 5th, 2010

When Mexico City changed their law so as to allow same-sex couples to marry, anti-gay activists sued. They wanted the nation’s supreme court to find it unconstitutional to provide equality. The court has now ruled (CBS):

The Mexican Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of gay marriages in Mexico City. Gay marriages have been legal in Mexico City since March, but have drawn opposition from the Catholic Church and the Mexican government.

The 8-2 vote not only upheld gay marriage in Mexico City, it also said the law was valid to allow homosexuals to possibly adopt children.

They found that while the Constitution does protect the family, it doesn’t define “family”.

Gunmen Kill 17 at Gay Party In Mexico

Jim Burroway

July 19th, 2010

In one of the worst single-incident killings in Mexico’s drug war, gunmen opened fire at a party in the northern Mexican city of Torreon, killing 17 men and women and injuring another 18. Officials counted 122 spent shells from assault rifles.

“The party was ongoing … when gunmen arrived in several vehicles, disembarked and, without uttering a word to those in attendance, opened fire,” Jesus Torres, state attorney general, said in a statement. The assailants fled.

The party was organized by a gay group and was being held at the Italia Inn in Torreon, Coahuila. The event was organized via facebook, and was “open to all.” Investigators suspect drug traffickers were behind the massacre. The northern city of Torreon has become a drug smuggling transfer point for entry into the U.S.

Coahuila, a mostly rural state which shares a border with Texas, passed a civil unions bill in 2007, becoming the only state outside of Mexico City to do so.

Mexico City Marriages survive court challenge

Timothy Kincaid

February 24th, 2010

After the city government of Mexico City legalized same-sex marriages, a number of challenges were raised. (from anti-gay website: LifeSite)

Five Mexican state governors are suing the nation’s Federal District, Mexico City, for legalizing homosexual “marriage” in December of last year.

The governors of the states of Jalisco, Tlaxcala, Guanajuato, Morelos, and Sonora say that the law is unconstitutional, and will require their state governments to recognize “marriages” between people of the same sex, despite the states’ rejection of such unions.

They have been declared invalid (LifeSite)

The Mexican Supreme Court has rejected lawsuits filed by several states to overturn Mexico City’s new homosexual “marriage” and adoption law.

The court stated that states need not recognize the marriages conducted in the capital. A suit brought by the Attorney General of the federal government is still pending.

Mexico City gets marriage equality

Timothy Kincaid

December 21st, 2009

Same-sex marriage will soon be legal in all three national capitals on the continent. Close on the heels of the vote in Washington, DC, legislators in Mexico City have voted to enact marriage equality. (AP)

Mexico City lawmakers on Monday made the city the first in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage, a change that will give homosexual couples more rights, including allowing them to adopt children.

The bill passed the capital’s local assembly 39-20 to the cheers of supporters who yelled: “Yes, we could! Yes, we could!”

Leftist Mayor Marcelo Ebrard of the Democratic Revolution Party is widely expected to sign the measure into law.

Although Mexico City already recognized Civil Unions, this legislation will have a material affect on the live of same-sex couples.

The change would allow same-sex couples to adopt children, apply for bank loans together, inherit wealth and be included in the insurance policies of their spouse, rights they were denied under civil unions allowed in the city.

Congratulations!!

Guess Who Else Isn’t On Board With the U.N. Resolution to Decriminalize Homosexuality

Jim Burroway

December 5th, 2008

Mark, at Slapped Upside the Head, has a good take on yesterday’s news that the Vatican is opposing a U.N. resolution calling on member states to rescind laws outlawing homosexuality — which in some countries includes the death penalty. We discussed the Vatican’s intrinsically disordered logic here. Mark has his own take here.

There are a lot of countries which have already signed on to the declaration, including: Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Uruguay, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Those last three are rather surprising. Also surprising co-sponsors are three African countries: Gabon, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau. That’s quite an impressive list.

So, who’s missing? Well, let’s see. Oh look: the United States and Australia.

NARTH Goes South Of The Border

Jim Burroway

May 19th, 2008

A. Dean ByrdThe National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) took their ex-gay message to Mexico a few weeks ago. Sponsored by the Mexican ex-gay group Renacer (“Rebirth”), an “Understanding Homosexuality” conference featuring at least six prominent American ex-gay activists took place May 1-3 at the Sheraton Centro Histórico in Mexico City.

The Spanish language LGBT web site Anodis reported that conference speakers included:

  • NARTH president A. Dean Byrd,
  • NARTH past president Joseph Nicolisi,
  • NARTH president-elect Julie Harren-Hamilton,
  • Desert Hope Ministries founder and director Janelle M. Hallman,
  • Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (JONAH) co-director Arthur Goldberg,
  • Venus magazine publisher Charlene Cothran.

According to Anodis, Byrd opened the conference by claiming that he didn’t want to change anyone, and that he respected those who are “defined as openly gay.” He mentioned the 1990 removal of homosexuality from the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD), but then he went on to describe homosexuality using the clinical sounding acronym SSA, or Same-Sex Attraction, which he describes it as “something [that] happens in the development of the individual.” Byrd then went on to decry the state of research into homosexuality today, claiming that half the research is being conducted by gay people. This, by the way, is a most unscientific claim, one that can be easily disproved by a few quick searches of the PubMed databases on virtually any topic related to homosexuality.

Identifying the hallmarks of sound science is clearly not Dr. Byrd’s strong suit. This is the man who, with Nicolosi, co-authored the recent ex-gay “study” in the pay-to-publish vanity journal Psychological Reports, a paper which reads more like ex-gay propaganda than legitimate social science. In 2002, Byrd cited the work of discredited “researcher” Paul Cameron in a paper published by Regent University.

Meanwhile, other shining examples of “science” include Julie Harren-Hamilton focusing on child sexual abuse as being a critical factor in the development of male homosexuality, and Nicolosi claiming to have treated “hundreds of men” to “reorient their SSA.”

According to Anodis, approximately 300 people paid between 900 to 1,200 pesos (US$87 to $115) for the three day conference.

[Hat tip: Andrés Duque at Blabbeando]

Marriage Rights Around the World

Timothy Kincaid

May 15th, 2008

The following countries offer some form of recognition to same-sex couples:

Marriage

Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, United States (Massachusetts, California)

Civil Unions

New Zealand, Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul), Argentina (Buenos Aires, Rio Negro), Mexico (Coahuila), Uruguay, United States (Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey)

Registered Partnership or Domestic Partnership

Denmark, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Finland, Luxembourg, , Slovenia, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Italy (City of Padua), Switzerland, Hungary, Australia (Tasmania), United States (Maine, Washington, Oregon)

Other Methods of Limited Recognition

France (PACS), Germany (Life Partnership), Croatia (Law of Same-Sex Relationships), Andorra (Stable Union of a Couple), Mexico (Mexico City – PACS), Colombia (Common-law marriage inheritance rights), Israel (Limited recognition of foreign legal arrangements), United States (Hawaii – Reciprocal Benefits; New York – recognition of out-of-state legal marriages)

Although recognition is in a rapid state of change, this is my best understanding of the current rights provided. Several nations are in the process of adding or revising recognition.

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