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LGBT rights in Mexico

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Title: LGBT rights in Mexico  
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Subject: LGBT in Mexico, Politics of Mexico, State governments of Mexico, LGBT rights in the Americas, Same-sex marriage in Oaxaca
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LGBT rights in Mexico

LGBT rights in Mexico
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal since 1871
Gender identity/expression Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name in Mexico City (since 2008).
Discrimination protections Sexual-orientation protection nationwide since 2003 (see below)
Family rights
Recognition of

Same-sex marriage in Mexico City (2010), Quintana Roo (2012), Coahuila (2014), Chihuahua (2015), Guerrero (2015)

Civil unions in Colima (2013), Jalisco (2013), Campeche (2013)
Adoption Joint adoption legal nationwide since 2015 [1]

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 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. The articles in the constitution 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, thus legalizing gay marriage. However, the process is lengthly as couples must request a jurisdiction from a judge, a process that can take significantly longer than the process for an opposite-sex wedding.

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 Convergence, and the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party. They include the 2001 amendment to Article 1 of the Federal Constitution to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. Same-sex marriage are performed in Mexico City, Quintana Roo, Coahuila, Chihuahua and Guerrero and generally in Colima. Civil union are performed in an additional three states, which are Colima, Jalisco and Campeche.


  • Timeline 1
  • History 2
    • 1970 to present 2.1
  • Anti-discrimination laws 3
  • Anti-LGBT violence 4
  • Political influence 5
  • LGBT speech laws 6
  • Civil unions and same-sex marriage 7
    • Mexico City 7.1
    • Colima 7.2
    • Coahuila 7.3
    • Oaxaca 7.4
    • Quintana Roo 7.5
    • Jalisco 7.6
    • Veracruz 7.7
    • Other states 7.8
  • Discrimination and pride 8
  • HIV and AIDS 9
  • Summary table 10
  • See also 11
  • Footnotes 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14


Map of Mexico, depicting the status of same-sex unions
State recognition of same-sex relationships in Mexico
  Same-sex marriage
  Same-sex civil unions recognized
  Unregistered cohabitation

  • 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.
  • 1821: Mexican independence from Spain brought an end to the Inquisition and colonial homosexual persecution.
  • 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: On November 20, 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 behavior.
  • 1979: The country's first LGBT pride parade was held in Mexico City.[2]
  • 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.
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.
  • 2001: Article 1 of the Constitution of Mexico was amended to prohibit discrimination based on, among other factors, sexual orientation.
  • 2003 (29 April): A federal anti-discrimination law was passed and a national council immediately created to enforce it.
Amaranta Gómez became the first transgender woman to run for a seat in the Congress of Mexico.
  • 2004 (13 March): A change to the Mexico City Civil Code took effect that allows transgender people to change the gender and name on their birth certificates.[3][4]
  • 2006 (9 November): Mexico City legalized same-sex civil unions.
  • 2007 (11 January): The northern state of Coahuila legalized same-sex civil unions.[5]
31 January: The nation's first same-sex civil union ceremony was performed in Saltillo, Coahuila.[6]
Gay-rights parade float with Aztec eagle-warrior theme
Float with Aztec Eagle Warrior theme at 2009 LGBT Pride Parade in Mexico City.

  • 2009 Miguel Galán, from the defunct Social Democratic Party, became the first openly gay politician to run for mayor in the country.[7]
  • 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.[8] Eight days later, Mayor Marcelo Ebrard signed the bill into law.
  • 2010 (4 March): The same-sex marriage law took effect in Mexico City.[9]
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 (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 Kantunilkin, Quintana Roo, after discovering that Quintana Roo's Civil Code does not specify gender requirements for marriage.[10]
  • 2012 (January): Same-sex marriages were suspended in Quintana Roo pending legal review by Luis González Flores,[11] the secretary of state of Quintana Roo.[12]
(April): governor of Quintana Roo, annulled the two same-sex marriages performed in Kantunilkin.[11]
(May): Luis González Flores reversed Borge Angulo's annulments in a decision allowing for future same-sex marriages to be performed in Quintana Roo.[13]
  • 2012 (December): The Supreme Court in Mexico City struck down a Oaxaca state law that had limited marriage to one man and one woman for purposes of procreation.[14]
  • 2013 (27 February): The first same-sex marriage licenses were issued in the state of Colima, after officials cited the state constitution, which prohibits discrimination due to sexual preference, and the Supreme Court ruling that struck down Oaxaca state's gay marriage ban. Although same-sex marriage is not officially law in Colima state, a same-sex couple can apply for and receive a marriage license.[15][16]
(March 22): First same-sex marriage occurred in Oaxaca.[17]
(June 14): The Second Federal District Court of the State of Colima ruled that the State Civil Code is unconstitutional in limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples.[18]
(July 1): 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.[19][20]
(August 8): Two men become the first same-sex couple to legally marry in the state of Yucatán.[21]
(December 23): Campeche legalized the civil union called 'Sociedades de Convivencia' [22]
  • 2014 (February 11) Coahuila Congress approved adoption by same-sex couples, by repealing Article 385-7 of the Civil Code.[23]
(March 21): Mexico declared, by Presidential Decree, May 17 as the National Day Against Homophobia.[24] See International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.
(September 1): Coahuila Congress approved same sex marriage, by changing the civil code of the state.[25]
  • 2015 (February 26), 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.
(March 2): the constitutional court of Yucatán dismissed the appeal for constitutional action to change the Civil Code. Supporters of amending the code have promised to appeal the decision.
(June 3): The Supreme Court of Justice of the nation releases a "jurisprudential thesis" expanding the definition of marriage to encompass same-sex couples as state laws restricting it were deemed unconstitutional and discriminatory.[26]
(June 12): The state of Chihuahua became the third state to legalize same-sex marriage after the governor announced that his administration would no longer oppose same-sex marriages within the state. The order was effective immediately.[27][28]
(July 10): The state of Guerrero became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage after the governor instructed civil agencies to approve same-sex marriage licenses.[29] Later that day, 20 same-sex couples were married by the Governor Rogelio Ortega in Acapulco.[30]


1970 to present

Photo from gay-pride parade in Mexico City, with rainbow flag
2009 LGBT Pride Parade in Mexico City. The first parade, in 1979 (also known as LGBT Pride March), attracted over 1,000 marchers.

Gay-pride marchers on a street, with yellow banner and clothing
LGBT marchers demanding equality at the 2009 LGBT Pride Parade in Mexico City

During the early 1970s, influenced by the Sears employee because of his allegedly-homosexual behavior in Mexico City.[31]

The Homosexual Front of Revolutionary Action (Frente Homosexual de Acción Revolucionaria) protested the 1983 roundups in

  • Gay Mexico — online dating BBS.
  • Gay Mexico — gay online magazine.
  • Antros Gay — list of gay bars and clubs in Mexico.
  • MexGay — information about gay-friendly tourist destinations 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.


External links


  1. ^
  2. ^ Gaypedia"Mexico City Gay Pride/Orgullo LGBT Mexico City",
  3. ^ "Mexico: Mexico City Amends Civil Code to Include Transgender Rights", International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission, 15 June 2004
  4. ^ "The Violations of the Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Persons in Mexico: A Shadow Report", submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Committee by The International Human Rights Clinic, Human Rights Program of Harvard Law School; Global Rights; and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, March 2010, footnote 77, page 13
  5. ^ , 12 January 2007Towleroad"Mexican State of Coahuila Legalizes Same-Sex Unions",
  6. ^ , 2 February 2007The Advocate"Lesbian couple registers as Mexico's first same-sex civil union",
  7. ^ G. Partida, Juan Carlos (23 March 2009). "Miguel Galán: la preferencia sexual como bandera política".  
  8. ^ , reported by Rory Carroll, 22 December 2009The Guardian"We do: Mexico City blazes trail with legalisation of same-sex marriage",
  9. ^ , 4 March 2010CNN World"Mexico City law allowing same-sex unions takes effect",
  10. ^ a b c d e Santana, Rosa (17 April 2012). "Anula gobernador de Quintana Roo dos bodas gay; lo acusan de homofóbico".  
  11. ^ a b "Gay Marriage In Cancun, Mexico Suspended". On Top Magazine. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2012. 
  12. ^ a b c Varillas, Adriana (5 June 2012). "Matrimonio gay celebra su unión en QRoo".  
  13. ^ , 5 December 2012Proceso"Corte abre puerta para matrimonios gay en el país",
  14. ^ a b , 23 March 2013Gay Marriage Watch"Mexico: First Gay Wedding Held in Colima",
  15. ^ "First gay marriage celebrated in Oaxaca following Supreme Court's December ruling", Justice in Mexico Project, 8 May 2013
  16. ^ , 28 March 2013Terra"Oaxaca celebra su primera boda gay tras fallo de SCJN",
  17. ^ [4]
  18. ^ , 3 Julio 2013Vanguardia"Avanza matrimonio igualitario en Yucatán",
  19. ^ , 3 Julio 2013La Verdad"Pareja gay le gana a las leyes en Yucatán y se podrá casar",
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Legalizan bodas gays en Campeche". SDP Noticias. 2013-12-23. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ . Presidencia de México Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ , 15 June 2015The Independent"Mexico effectively legalizes same-sex marriage",
  26. ^ Mexico state of Chihuahua officially approves same-sex marriage, 2015-06-12 
  27. ^ Mexican state to allow same-sex marriage, 2015-06-12 
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Se casan 20 parejas en boda colectiva de personas del mismo sexo en Guerrero" (in Spanish). Acapulco, Mexico: El Sur. 11 July 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2015. 
  30. ^ a b c d e f g Herrick and Stuart, p. 144.
  31. ^ a b Dynes, Johansson, Percy and Donaldson, p. 807.
  32. ^ a b Reding, p. 26.
  33. ^ Padilla, p. 207.
  34. ^ a b Reding, p. 27.
  35. ^ a b c d CONAPRED, official website.
  36. ^ Maggie Van Ostrand (1 July 2005). "The shrewdness of Mexican women". Mex Connect. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  37. ^ a b "Mexico City passes gay union law". BBC News. 10 November 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  38. ^ Juan Montano (31 January 2007). "Lesbians Register Mexico's 1st Gay Union". The Washington Post. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  39. ^ a b International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) Trans (29 August 2008). "Mexico City extends official rights to transgender individuals". Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  40. ^ a b Tracy Wilkinson (29 December 2009). "Gay marriage closer to reality in Mexico". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 30 December 2009. 
  41. ^ Padilla, p. 208.
  42. ^ a b c d International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (23 April 2003). "Mexico protects its gay and lesbian citizens with new law". Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  43. ^ [5]
  44. ^ [6]
  45. ^ a b c d e f g h "Special Report on Homophobia and Hate Crimes". Human Rights Commission of Mexico City. 27 July 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  46. ^ a b c d Andrew Reding (April 1998). "Mexico: Treatment of Homosexuals". University of Minnesota. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  47. ^ Reding, p. 25.
  48. ^ a b c d "Mexican state approves gay civil unions". Mail & Guardian Online. 13 January 2007. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  49. ^ a b c Erich Adolfo Moncada Cota (19 November 2006). "Mexico City Approves Same Sex Unions". Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  50. ^ Coerver, Pasztor and Buffington, p. 201.
  51. ^ "Mexico City OKs law recognizing gay unions". MSNBC. 9 November 2006. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  52. ^ "National Committee of Sexual Diversity" (in Español). Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  53. ^ a b c Gernaro Lozano (1 August 2009). "¿Dónde quedó el voto gay?" (in Español). El Universal. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  54. ^ a b c Latin American Herald Tribune (16 March 2009). "First Openly Gay Mayoral Candidate Runs in Mexico". Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  55. ^ a b Christine Delsol (26 November 2008). "Mexico's top destinations for gay vacations". San Francisco Gate. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  56. ^ Rachel Evans (21 May 2009). The only fight we lose is the one we abandon": Mexico's first openly lesbian MP on LGBTI rights and people's power""". Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  57. ^ Monica Campbell (29 June 2006). "The Mexican woman running for president". San Francisco Gate. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  58. ^ Guadalajara Reporter (16 May 2009). "Green Party rival crossed the line, says gay candidate". Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  59. ^ , reported by the Associated Press, 7 March 2013The Washington Post"Mexico's top court says anti-gay terms are hate speech not protected by freedom of expression",
  60. ^ a b "Senadores proponen legalizar el matrimonio gay en todo México". 2013-11-14. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  61. ^ "Propone Fernando Mayans Canabal reconocer el matrimonio sin distinciĂłn de preferencia sexual". 2013-11-20. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  62. ^ "Mexico's Supreme Court Effectively Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage Nationwide". 2015-06-14. Retrieved 2015-06-15. 
  63. ^ Latin American Herald Tribune (24 November 2009). "Mexico City Lawmakers to Consider Gay Marriage". Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  64. ^ Mónica Archundia (25 November 2009). "Proyecto de matrimonio gay "divorcia" a la ALDF" (in Español). El Universal. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  65. ^ Anodis (11 December 2009). "Preparan dictamen de matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo" (in Español). Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  66. ^ Horacio Jiménez y Ella Grajeda (16 December 2009). "PAN amaga con impedir bodas gay" (in Español). El Universal. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  67. ^ Notimex (15 December 2009). "Recurrirá PAN a Corte de legalizarse 'matrimonio' entre homosexuales" (in Español). Yahoo! México. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  68. ^ Rocío González Alvarado (18 December 2009). "Rechaza ALDF referéndum para bodas gay" (in Español). La Jornada. Retrieved 18 December 2009. 
  69. ^ , 21 December 2009BBC News"Mexico City backs gay marriage in Latin American first",
  70. ^ , reported by Tracy Wilkinson, 22 December 2009Los Angeles Times"Mexico City moves to legalize same-sex marriage",
  71. ^ John Holman (4 March 2010). "Anger at Mexico's gay marriage law". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 6 March 2010. 
  72. ^ , 5 August 2010Reuters"Mexico court upholds gay marriage law",
  73. ^ Colima Digital
  74. ^ , reported by Alfredo Quiles, 4 July 2013El Universal", gay"Colima avala 'enlace conyugal' entre parejas
  75. ^ a b c d S. Lynne Walker (5 March 2007). "New law propels gay rights in Mexico". Mail & Guardian Online. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  76. ^ a b "Lesbian couple weds in Oaxaca after Mexico's high court ruling". 2013-03-30. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  77. ^ Brisa Muñoz (30 November 2011). "Sin hacer una reforma legal, Quintana Roo realiza sus primeras bodas gay" (in Español). CNN México. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  78. ^ Brisa Muñoz (2 December 2011). "Dos matrimonios homosexuales se casaron en un municipio conservador" (in Español). CNN México. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  79. ^ Garcia, Michelle (2013-12-15). "Lesbian Couple First to Marry in Mexican State". Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  80. ^
  81. ^ "Mexico City" (in Español). Antros Gay. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  82. ^ "State of Mexico" (in Español). Antros Gay. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  83. ^ "Tijuana, Baja California" (in Español). Antros Gay. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  84. ^ "Monterrey, Nuevo León" (in Español). Antros Gay. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  85. ^ "Puebla, Puebla" (in Español). Antros Gay. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  86. ^ "León, Guanajuato" (in Español). Antros Gay. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  87. ^ "Veracruz, Veracruz" (in Español). Antros Gay. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  88. ^ a b Herrick and Stuart, p. 145.
  89. ^ González, p. 92.
  90. ^ Jiménez, De la Garza and Glockner, p. 10.
  91. ^ "Festeja la Ciudad de México el Orgullo Gay" (in Español). Anodis. 22 June 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  92. ^ Jiménez, De la Garza and Glockner, p. 20.
  93. ^ a b Jiménez, De la Garza and Glockner, p. 19.
  94. ^ a b c González, p. 94.
  95. ^ "Se tiñe Tijuana de arco iris con el Orgullo Gay" (in Español). Anodis. 23 June 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  96. ^ "Convocan a juntas para la 8 Marcha del Orgullo LGBT en Puebla" (in Español). Anodis. 2 March 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  97. ^ "Reúne a 200 personas marcha gay en Xalapa, Veracruz" (in Español). Anodis. 9 February 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  98. ^ Francisco Iglesias (31 August 2009). "Copian gays en Cuernavaca vicios de la marcha gay en el DF" (in Español). NotiGay. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  99. ^ Jiménez, De la Garza and Glockner, p. 16.
  100. ^ José Juan Delgado Alemán (1 August 2009). "Euforia durante primera marcha gay en Acapulco" (in Español). Milenio. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  101. ^ Jiménez, De la Garza and Glockner, p. 13.
  102. ^ Jiménez, De la Garza and Glockner, p. 12.
  103. ^ CENSIDA, official website.
  104. ^ a b c d United States Agency for International Development (September 2008). "HIV/AIDS health profile" (PDF). Retrieved 4 December 2009. 
  105. ^ a b "UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic 2012" (PDF). Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  106. ^ CENSIDA, p. 11.
  107. ^ CENSIDA, p. 13.
  108. ^ a b c d e "Mexico Meets HIV-AIDS Millennium Development Goals". Latin American Herald Tribune. 3 December 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2009. 



See also

  1. ^ Performed only in Mexico City, Quintana Roo, Coahuila, Chihuahua and Guerrero, but recognized throughout the entire country.
  2. ^ All states are obliged to honour same-sex marriages performed in Mexico.
  3. ^ No explicit ban. However, LGB persons have been reportedly discharged on the grounds of "immorality."
  4. ^ Legal in Mexico City only.
Same-sex sexual acts legal Yes
Equal age of consent Yes
Anti-discrimination laws in employment Yes
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services Yes
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) Yes
Same-sex marriage(s)[note 1] Yes/No
Recognition of same-sex couples[note 2] Yes
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples Yes (since 2015)
Joint adoption by same-sex couples Yes (since 2015)
Gays allowed to serve in the military[note 3] Yes/No
Right to change legal gender[note 4] Yes/No
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No
MSMs allowed to donate blood Yes

Summary table

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.[110] Treatment for HIV/AIDS in Mexico is free, and is offered at 57 specialized clinics to 30,000 (of 60,000) people living with HIV.[110] The Mexican government spends about $2 billion MXN (US $151.9 million) each year fighting the disease.[110]

[110] In August 2008, Mexico hosted the 17th

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.[106]

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.[106] A study conducted by Infante-Xibille in 2004 of 373 health care providers in three Mexican states described discrimination within the health services. Testing was conducted only with perceived high-risk groups (often without informed consent), and AIDS patients were often isolated.[106]

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.[107] 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.[107] 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).[108] Over 90 percent of the reported cases were the result of sexual transmission.[109]

[106] The National Center for the Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS (CENSIDA) is a program promoting

The first AIDS case in Mexico was diagnosed in 1983.[103] Based on retrospective analyses and other public-health investigative techniques, HIV in Mexico may be traced back to 1981.[104] LGBT groups were instrumental in initiating programs to combat AIDS—a shift in focus which curtailed (at least temporarily) an emphasis on gay organizing.[31]

Red loop-and-cross HIV/AIDS ribbon


In 2003, the first Lesbian Pride March was held in the nation's capital.[94] In Guadalajara, well-attended LGBT Pride Parades have also been held each June since 1996.[95] Consecutive LGBT Pride Parades have been held in Monterrey,[96] Tijuana,[97] Puebla,[98] Veracruz,[96] Xalapa,[99] Cuernavaca,[100] Tuxtla Gutiérrez,[101] Acapulco,[102] Chilpancingo,[96] and Mérida.[95]

[93] In 1979, the country's first

Other centers include border city Tijuana,[85] northern city Monterrey,[86] central cities Puebla[87] and León,[88] and major port city Veracruz.[89] The popularity of gay tourism (especially in Puerto Vallarta, Cancún, and elsewhere) has also drawn national attention to the presence of homosexuality in Mexico.[90] Among young, urban heterosexuals, it has become popular to attend gay dance clubs and to have openly gay friends.[90]

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.[83] Surrounding the nation's capital, there is a substantial LGBT culture in the State of Mexico[84] (although some observers claim that gay life is more developed in Mexico's second-largest city, Guadalajara).[32]

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.[47] 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.[47]

Go-go dancers in costume at gay-pride parade
Go-go dancers at 2009 LGBT Pride Parade in Mexico City.

Discrimination and pride

LSC bills have been unsuccessfully proposed by the PRD in at least six states: Colima, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacán, Puebla and Veracruz.[57] After Mexico City legalized same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples in December 2009, debate resumed in states where civil unions had been previously proposed. In February 2013, the state of Colima started to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples, citing the state constitution, which prohibits discrimination due to sexual preference and the Supreme Court of Mexico's ruling which struck down Oaxaca state's gay marriage ban.[15]

Other states

Held at the Civil Registry of the municipality of Veracruz, Jahir Olivares Dario Garcia and Victor Manuel García were legally joined in marriage. Dec, 2014[82]


A female same-sex couple was able to become the first same-sex couple to marry in Jalisco.[81]


[13] but these annulments were later reversed by González Flores in a decision that allowed for future same-sex marriages to be performed in the state.[11] In April 2012, the two same-sex marriages performed in Kantunilkin were annulled by Quintana Roo Governor [80][12] the Secretary of State of Quintana Roo.[11] Cancún, Cozumel, and other resort areas in Quintana Roo planned to hold a same-sex group wedding in January 2012, but these weddings were suspended upon review by Luis González Flores,

The Civil Code of Quintana Roo does not state sex or gender requirements for marriage, only specifying "people interested in getting married".[10] A same-sex couple filed for a marriage license in Cancún and Chetumal after discovering this legal quirk, but both cities rejected their applications, arguing that a man-woman marriage was implied. The couple then applied in Lázaro Cárdenas Municipality, where authorities accepted the application. Quintana Roo's first two same-sex marriages were held in the community of Kantunilkin on November 28, 2011.[79]

Quintana Roo

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".[78] In 2013 a lesbian couple became the first same-sex couple to marry after this ruling.[78]


On January 11, 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.[50] The PCS was proposed by congresswoman Julieta López of the centrist PRI, whose nineteen members voted for the law.[50][77] 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".[50] Apart from that, the PCS drew little opposition and was (notably) supported by Bishop Raúl Vera.[77] 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).[77] Twenty days after the law passed, the country's first same-sex civil union took place in Saltillo, Coahuila.[77]


For the first time in the municipality of Cuauhtémoc in Colima, two people of the same sex were united in marriage. The vows were given on February 27, 2013, under the legal assessment granting the determination to assign based on the Constitution, International Treaties, and Law that prevents, combats, and eliminates discrimination in the State of Colima,[75] In July 2013, the state congress 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".[76]


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".[73] Five months later, the Supreme Court ruled 9–2 that the law did not violate the Constitution.[74]

The referendum proposal was rejected by the Legislative Assembly on a 36–22 vote on December 18, 2009.[70] On 21 December 2009, the Legislative Assembly passed the bill by a vote of 39–20 with five abstentions.[71] Eight days later, Mayor Marcelo Ebrard signed the bill. 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.[72]

On November 24, 2009, assemblyman David Razú, a member of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, Amnesty International, and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.[66][67] The National Action Party (PAN) announced it would either appeal the law in court or demand a referendum.[68][69]

As new leftist mayor Marcelo Ebrard was expected to take power in December 2006, the Legislative Assembly voted 43-17 to approve the LSC.[51] The law took effect on March 16, 2007.

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").[56] The bill 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.[51]

Mexico City

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 [64]

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 adult couples. It is also important to notice 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.

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".[62] The proposal was turned over to the Justice, Legal Studies and Human Rights commissions in the senate to be further studied [63]

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. Same-sex civil unions and same-sex marriages are not recognized at the federal level. Some states, however, have considered legislation on these issues.[62]

State recognition of same-sex relationships in North America & Hawaii.1
  Same-sex marriage
  Other type of partnership
  Same-sex marriages recognized, but not performed
  Binding judicial ruling against a ban on same-sex marriage2
  Binding judicial ruling against a ban on recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages
  Same-sex marriage banned2
1May include recent laws or court decisions which have created legal recognition of same-sex relationships, but which have not entered into effect yet.
2Some states in these categories also have a binding judicial rulings against bans on unions similar to marriage or ban unions similar to marriage.

Civil unions and same-sex marriage

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.[61]

LGBT speech laws

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.[56] 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.[60] Despite losing the election, Galán received 7,122 votes (the most for any openly gay politician in Mexico).[55]

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.[59] 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.[55]

Other leftist, smaller parties are Convergence and the Labor Party (PT). Both have supported the LGBT community and PRD-proposed bills regarding LGBT rights.[58]

In December 2009, Mexico City's PRD-controlled Legislative Assembly passed a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples in the jurisdiction. Eight days later, after congressional approval, PRD Head of Government ("Mayor") Marcelo Ebrard signed the same-sex marriage bill into law; it went into effect in early March 2010.[41][42]

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).[35] In 2008, a PRD-backed bill concerning gender identity was passed, allowing transgender people to change their gender and sex on official documents.[40] In the 2009 parliamentary elections, of the 38 LGBT candidates presented by several political parties, only Enoé Uranga succeeded:[55] an openly-lesbian politician who, in 2000, promoted the legalization of same-sex civil unions in Mexico City.[56] The bill passed six years later in the PRD-controlled Legislative Assembly, allowing same-sex couples inheritance and pension rights.[38] Similar bills have been proposed by the PRD in at least six states.[57]

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.[54] 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).[33]

Woman with short dark hair, blue lanyard, and black and white blouse speaking at a podium
Patria Jiménez, from the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), became the first openly-lesbian lawmaker in the Federal Congress in 1997.

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").[52] 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.[53] Nonetheless, PAN officials have insisted that homosexuals have rights as human beings and should in no case be subjected to hatred or physical violence.[48]

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).[48] Many of its leaders have taken public stands describing homosexuality as "abnormal", a "sickness", or a "moral weakness".[48]

In 1998, President Ernesto Zedillo (of the PRI) appointed Pedro Joaquín-Coldwell (an openly-bisexual politician and former governor of Quintana Roo) ambassador to Cuba.[49] 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 two cases). The party unanimously voted in favor of the recognition of same-sex civil unions in Mexico City and Coahuila.[50][51] There was some internal debate within the PRI whether or not the party should have a platform plank on the issue.

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.[48]

Political influence

"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".[47]

Alejandro Brito Lemus, director of the news supplement Letra S ("Letter S"), claimed that only four percent of gays and lesbians who suffer from discrimination present their complaints to authorities:

"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".[47]

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:

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.[47] 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.[47]

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.[47] 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 remain unprosecuted).[47]

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[46] 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.[31]

Male gay-pride marchers, with signs and rainbow flags
LGBT marchers denouncing hate crimes based on sexual orientation at 2009 LGBT Pride Parade in Mexico City

Anti-LGBT violence

It is unclear if the anti-discrimination policy applies to the Mexican Armed Forces. The Uniform Code of Military justice does not expressly discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Openly gay or bisexual servicemen and women, however, are reportedly often harassed and strongly "encouraged" to resign. The UCMJ does have vague laws against servicemen and women engaging "bad manners" or "immorality", which can be used to unfairly punish or otherwise harass gay or bisexual servicemen and women. When asked, several retired generals stated that the policy, during their tenure, was to strongly encourage them to resign or to use the vague rules against immorality to remove them on bad conduct discharge.[45]

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.[36] 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.[36]

CONAPRED is an 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.[36]

Article 9 defines "discriminatory behavior" as:

On April 29, 2003, the Federal Congress unanimously passed the "Federal Law to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination", including sexual preference as a protected category. The law, which went into effect on June 11, 2003, created the National Council to Prevent Discrimination to enforce it.[44] Mexico became the second country in Latin America, after Ecuador, to provide anti-discrimination protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.[44] Article 4 of the law defines discrimination as:

Anti-discrimination laws

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 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).[43]

In December 2009, Mexico City's Legislative Assembly passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples in the jurisdiction, which became effective in early March 2010.[41][42] In May 2012, a decision by Quintana Roo Secretary of State Luis González Flores[11] allowed for same-sex marriages to be performed in Quintana Roo.[13]

In 2006, Mexico City legalized same-sex civil unions, the second Latin American jurisdiction to do so after Buenos Aires in 2002. The law allows same-sex couples inheritance and pension rights.[38] The following year, the northern state of Coahuila legalized same-sex civil unions.[39] In 2008, the PRD-controlled Legislative Assembly approved a law allowing transgender people to change their legal gender and name in Mexico City.[40]

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.[31] 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.[36] The same year, Amaranta Gómez ran as the first transgender congresswoman candidate affiliated with the former Mexico Posible party.[37]

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.[34] The following month, the PRD-controlled Legislative Assembly passed an ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, the first of its kind in Mexico.[35]

In 1991, Mexico hosted a meeting of the International Gay and Lesbian Association (ILGA), which was its first meeting outside Europe.[31] 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).[31] LGBT rights advocate David Sánchez Camacho was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Federal District (ALDF).[33]


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