How did Mexico become a gay marriage pioneer?

politics | Feb 15, 2010 | By Francisco Garcia Pimentel Ruiz

On March 4, Mexico City will became the first capital city in Latin America to have legal same-sex marriages and adoptions.

Even for Mexicans, how this ever happened is difficult to understand. You would think that this deeply religious country would take a dim view of homosexuality. According to the last official census, more than 93 percent of Mexicans are Christian: 87.9 percent Catholic, and 5.2 percent Protestant. Since same-sex marriage was only approved in the capital, the local religious situation might be different there. But it is not: 94 percent there are Christian.

Then why did the Mexico City legislature vote 39-20 on December 21 to change the definition of marriage from "a free union between a man and a woman" to "a free union between two people"?

Perhaps the new law is popular amongst voters? Not so. According to surveys conducted by El País, a Spanish newspaper, over 41 percent of Mexicans are against it (39 percent in favour) and, notably, 67 percent oppose gay adoption, the majority of them because they think it would be "a danger to society". A survey conducted by the National Action Party (Partido Acción Nacional, PAN) shows even more impressive figures: 53 percent against gay marriage.

So neither religion nor popularity explains the new law. Does it need legal protection? This doesn´t seem to be the case either. The legal figure of "Coexistence Societies" that regulates and protects homosexual unions -- without granting them the status of marriage—has existed since 2007. This law protects homosexuals against discrimination and establishes a clear inheritance rights and health protection.

So what does explain it?

The plot becomes clearer when we review some recent cultural changes, which have found an amazing momentum thanks to the arrival to the power of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (Partido de la Revolución Democrática, PRD), a party with clearly Marxist roots. Mexican Marxism dates to the early years of the last century, when it was nurtured by the party in power, the Institutional Revolution Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, PRI). Many years later a party split created the PRD, which was situated further to the left and came to power in Mexico City in 1997.

One of the most effective methods of the Marxism and its offspring --like radical feminism and LGTB movements -- is, and always has been, the destruction of language. As George Orwell presents in crude form in his iconic novel 1984 and Rafael Gamba explains in his book A Simple History of Philosophy, "his main weapon is linguistics (normative grammar) that penetrates the colloquial language, altering the meaning of words and their emotional connotations, to create in the speaker a new spiritual attitude. If you change the values, you change the idea and a different culture is born."

The truth of this is evident. Many words have practically disappeared or have radically changed in meaning. Abortion is now called "interruption of pregnancy"; promiscuity "sexual health"; the human foetus, "a product of conception". The word "mistress" or "lover" has been replaced by the innocuous word "partner", and “couple” has replaced "spouses". This is little more than latter-day Orwellian double-speak. Words are being stripped of their moral content or replaced by ones that are guilt-free.

At stake in same-sex marriage are the concepts of "family" and "matrimony", which have traditionally been linked to the union of a man and a woman with their children. By deploying positive notions like "human rights", "equality", "modernity" and "freedom" and skilfully using epithets like "discriminatory", "intolerant", "far right" and even “medieval” against opponents, left-wing groups won the war of public relations.

The legal war is still being fought, however. The Supreme Court will be very busy with legal actions seeking to overturn the new law. These are based mainly on the constitutional principle of protection for the family and children’s right to well-being. Same-sex adoption will be strongly opposed.

The problem of the sovereignty of States is also relevant, since in Mexico all states are obliged to recognise civil status acquired under the laws of any other State. Hence, those who so wish can get married in Mexico City, and then return to their place of origin, where they will have to be recognized and respected in their new circumstances.

The fact that Mexico is the first capital of Latin America to adopt same-sex marriage is not trivial. It has immense cultural influence in Central and South America. The powerful Mexican media conglomerates will export the new doublespeak further south through their popular telenovelas (soap-operas). This leads to fears that the obsession of a few left-wingers could eventually transform an entire continent.

The file is not closed on same-sex marriage. Various citizens’ movements are beginning to tackle a cultural assault which they compare to the invasion of the Roman Empire by Attila the Huns. Mexicans have always cherished family life and the institution of the family. But the time for talking the talk is over. They’ll have to walk the walk.

Francisco Garcia Pimentel Ruiz studied law in the Panamerican University in Guadalajara, México and regularly comments on politics and ethics in the media. He is currently studying an MA in Global and Comparative Politics in the University of Essex in the United Kingdom. Special thanks to Maria McCarthy for her assistance.

This article is published by Francisco García Pimentel Ruiz , and under a Creative Commons licence.



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