Buenos Aires - Argentina
El tiempo - Tutiempo.net

Mexico: Priests “outed” of closet by gay activists

By  |  0 Comments

Mexico, D.F.: It felt like Mexico’s fight for gay marriage was over, with same-sex couples winning the de facto right to marry. But as opposition  mounts, some LGBT activists are stepping up the heat on their foes in the Catholic church.

A day before a large anti-gay marriage march, they released the names of four priests they claim are in gay relationships, outing them to the whole country.

“Everyone deserves the right to be in the closet,” says Cristian Galarza, an organiser for the National Pride Front, an LGBT rights group. “But when you come out and condemn homosexuality, condemn gay marriage, and try to influence a secular state, you’ve lost the right to the closet.”

Mr Galarza says the Catholic church has improper influence in public policy and is subtly leading a backlash against the LGBT community. But at a time when LGBT rights are facing more opposition from “pro-family” groups, the controversial decision to out priests is dividing activists.

“They can spin it anyway they want, but they’re ultimately using someone’s sexual orientation as a tool against that person, which is exactly what the LGBT movement is not about,” says Enrique Torre Molina, the campaigns manager for LGBT rights group All Out. “If anyone knows how tough it can be to have your sexual orientation used against you, it is a gay or lesbian person.”

Mr Torre decided not to attend an LGBT rights protest in Mexico City last weekend organised by Mr Galarza’s group. He said many in the LGBT community can’t abide the outing of priests, regardless of their stance on gay marriage.

It was a bad day for the LGBT community to split. Thousands of anti-gay marriage Mexicans, all dressed in white, marched through the streets of the capital, calling themselves the National Front for the Family. But they insist that they aren’t against gay people.

“We are pro-diversity and respect other sexual inclinations,” says Magdalena Ibarrola, one of the protestors. “But we’re not in favour of the government imposing an ideology that does not match up with reality.”

Their frustration is aimed at president Enrique Peña Nieto who presented surprisingly progressive pro-LGBT legislation in May 2016 after a 2015 supreme court ruling saying it was unconstitutional to ban same-sex couples the right to marriage. The president’s bill would also give gay couples the right to adopt children and would allow individuals to change the gender on their birth certificates, among other measures.

Ms Ibarrola says the bill is pushing a different ideology on traditional Mexican families. A common chant among the crowd is, “Biology, not ideology!”

“We accept everyone but you can’t treat everyone the exact same way. It doesn’t work like that,” she says. She added that gay adoptions are harmful and corrupting for children.

The organisers say 120,000 anti-gay marriage marchers came out while the city government says there are 30,000. It’s a clear threat to the LGBT community.

“They say people like us can’t form a family,” says Alison Crash, who lives on the outskirts of Mexico City. “A family is based on love and it can be made up of any combination of genders.”

The legislation would directly impact her. She is a lesbian and her partner Nicole Solis is a transgender woman. They are exploring in vitro fertilisation to start a family, but if that doesn’t work, they would hope to adopt a child, which isn’t legal outside of Mexico City.

Still, most LGBT activists are confident gay marriage will be written into law nationwide.

“There are various initiatives in congress that expand the rights of LGBT people,” says Mr Galarza. “We’re not sure which one will go forward, but there will be marriage equality in Mexico. No doubt.”

Source: The Telegraph by James Fredrick

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *