#SaldelclosetAMLO: Time for Lopez Obrador to Come Out of the Closet on Gay Rights in Mexico
Genaro Lozano - Reforma
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June 17, 2015

Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AP/Alexandre Meneghini)

The Supreme Court has just declared itself in favor of same-sex marriage in Mexico. This took five years of legislative lobbying, two legislatures of the ALDF [Legislative Assembly of the Federal District], the unprecedented efforts of the capital’s LGBT movement, raising public awareness through the media, two social democratic parties that championed the initiative, with public opinion largely against it.

Efforts for the law’s approval were unprecedented, and all the activists and legislators I interviewed agreed that AMLO [Andrés Manuel López Obrador] was the main obstacle to overcome. To the surprise of the law’s initiators, AMLO, then Head of Mexico City Government, had proposed a public consultation rather than a law that was pioneering in Latin America and similar to those that leftist parties supported in several European countries and activist U.S. cities.

Emilio Álvarez de Icaza, then the capital's ombudsman [now Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights], criticized AMLO’s proposal and reminded him that human rights are not submitted to consultations. AMLO used his position as the most important member of PRD [Party of the Democratic Revolution] and pressured ALDF legislators to freeze the initiative in 2003 and postpone its discussion in 2005. It was not until AMLO left his leadership of the government to Alejandro Encinas [to run for President in the 2006 elections] that an alliance of leftist parties was formed in the ALDF such that the law was passed. In short, Cohabitation Partnerships was five years late not because of Noberto Rivera’s [Archbishop of Mexico City] rejection, but because of López Obrador’s.

This comes up because López Obrador has not budged from his position on gay marriage and legal abortion. In an interview with W Radio last week, the two-time presidential candidate said that such issues "are not that important, there are other, more important, issues such as fighting corruption.” AMLO still has a conservative and National Action Party heart, while his party colleagues try to justify by any means the conservatism that the Mexican left left behind in 1981, when the first spaces for sexual diversity were opened in Mexico by the now extinct Revolutionary Party of Workers.

Read the rest at Mexico Voices

Translated by Amanda Coe

Mexico Voices is a blogging endeavor aimed at raising the awareness of U.S. citizens regarding the destructive impact of the U.S. economic policy and the War on Drugs on Mexico — on its people, their economic and physical security and their human rights, on the nation’s dysfunctional justice system, and on the rule of law and Mexico’s fragile democracy. Visit the website at MexicoVoices.blogspot.mx

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