Last week I found myself speaking to a reporter from the Los Angeles newspaper La Opinion on the issue of LGBT rights in Latin America. He tried his best to get me to say that the situation for gays throughout Latin America was worse than that for gay Latinos in the United States.
While I did say that the LGBT advocacy movement throughout Latin America was younger and faced incredible challenges as well as organized opposition from conservative religious and political leaders, I reminded the reporter that the United States had seen the vicious murder of Matthew Sheppard and others and that, under this administration, the United States seemed to have fallen behind some Latin American countries on protecting the rights of the LGBT community.
I mentioned the civil union bill that was signed into law in the Argentine cities of Buenos Aires and Rio Negro in 2002, LGBT rights advances in Brazil, and the fact that civil union bills were being debated in Uruguay and Colombia, among other countries in the region.
"Yes," the reporter said, "but what about Mexico!"
I said that, yes, Mexico had a history of homophobia that was strongly linked to its machismo culture but that, as in most other Latin American countries, there was a vibrant and active LGBT community gaining visibility in its urban centers.
I have a feeling he still found this hard to believe.
So, without further ado, it is a great pleasure share a Reuters article from today that says simply "Gay unions legalized for first time in Mexico."
What about Mexico indeed!
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