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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:03 pm 
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In Mexico, gay couples celebrate historic weddings
11 March 2010
By OLGA R. RODRIGUEZ

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Gay couples kiss after getting married at City Hall in Mexico City, Thursday, March 11, 2010. The couples wed under Latin America's first law that explicitly approves gay marriage. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Two glowing brides in matching white gowns and four other same-sex couples made history in Mexico City on Thursday as they wed under Latin America's first law that explicitly approves gay marriage.

Mayor Marcelo Ebrard was a guest of honor at the weddings of Judith Vazquez and Lol Kin Castaneda and the other couples who tied the knot in a city building, despite harsh criticism from the Roman Catholic Church and a campaign against the measure by President Felipe Calderon's conservative National Action Party.

Vazquez, a 45-year-old small-business owner, and Castaneda, a 33-year-old psychologist, signed and put their thumb print on the official documents. Then they sealed their union with a kiss amid cheers from family and friends gathered in the colonial-era building's courtyard, decorated with calla lilies, banners with the colors of Mexico's flag and a sign that read "Tolerance, Liberty, Equality, Solidarity."

"This is the mark of freedom," said Vazquez, raising her thumb. Vazquez said she and Castaneda have considered themselves married ever since they moved in together six years ago. "The difference today is that the state will recognize it," she said while getting her hair done at home before the wedding. "This is a victory for all. ... For us this is a day of celebration."

Mexico City's legislature passed the first law explicitly giving gay marriages the same status as heterosexual ones in December. The legislation also allows same-sex couples to adopt children. For now the law applies only to residents of Mexico City, though a marriage performed in one state must be recognized in the rest of the country.

"Today is a historic day in Mexico City," said Judge Hegel Cortes, who officiated the weddings. "With the signing of these marriage certificates, we leave behind the traditional idea of a family and we allow for two people, regardless of sexual orientation, to get married."

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A gay couples kisses after getting married at City Hall in Mexico City, Thursday, March 11, 2010. Five couples wed Thursday under Latin America's first law that explicitly approves gay marriage. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

Thursday's weddings are not the first of their kind in Latin America, although they are the first approved under legislative authority. In December, two Argentine men were wed in a civil ceremony by a sympathetic governor and with court approval. But interpretations vary on whether Argentine law allows same-sex unions, and the question is now before that country's Supreme Court. Argentina's constitution is silent on whether marriage must be between a man and a woman, effectively leaving the matter to provincial officials. A law specifically legalizing gay marriage has stalled in Congress since October.

The new law in Mexico's capital district, which is home to roughly 8 million people, has been closely watched in the United States, where same-sex marriage is legal in the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Iowa, Vermont, Connecticut and New Hampshire.

In New York, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force spokesman Pedro Julio Serrano cheered the milestone. "People in the United States can look up to Mexico City and see a courageous legislature taking a stand," he said. "It's a model to follow."

Federal prosecutors are attempting to overturn the law, which Mexico City lawmakers argue simply gives same-sex couples the rights that heterosexual couples have regarding social security and other benefits. The Catholic Church has hotly criticized the law, especially its provision letting same-sex couples adopt children — something several couples said they are considering. Outside the city building, about two dozen protesters held banners that read "one man plus one woman equals marriage."

"A family is formed by a father and a mother," said Teresa Vazquez, a 51-year-old homemaker and member of a group opposed to same-sex marriage. "And I don't agree with their idea that a couple of two men is a family, because it's not and it's a bad example for children."

Source: Breitbart.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:50 pm 
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88 gay couples have married in Mexico City
6 April 2010

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Mexico City (AP) — Mexico City"s officials say 88 same-sex couples have gotten married in Mexico"s capital since a law allowing such unions took effect last month.

A statement from Mexico City"s government says 50 of the couples were men and 38 women. It said Monday that 37 more gay couples are scheduled to be married between April and June.

Mexico City"s legislature passed the first law in Latin America explicitly giving gay marriages in the federal district the same status as heterosexual ones in December. The legislation also allows same-sex couples to adopt children.

The law took effect March 4 over criticism by the Roman Catholic Church and a campaign against the measure by President Felipe Calderon"s conservative National Action Party.

Source: AP via 365Gay.

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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 5:59 am 
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Mexico City: A young woman celebrating her Quinceañera (coming-of-age ceremony celebrated at the age of 15) stands in the rain with her flowers after a mass ceremony for more than 300 15-year-old girls
Photograph: Marco Ugarte/AP

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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 3:04 pm 
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Killings of gays increase in Mexico, report says
13 May 2010

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Killings of gays and lesbians have risen in Mexico despite a government tolerance campaign and a law legalizing same-sex marriage in the capital, according to a report released Thursday by a coalition of civic groups.

A review of more than 70 newspapers in 11 Mexican states found an average of nearly 30 killings a year motivated by homophobia between 1995 and 2000, compared to nearly 60 a year between 2001 and 2009, the report said.

Ricardo Bucio, president of the government's National Council for the Prevention of Discrimination, backed the report, saying it gave visibility to a lingering problem.

The government launched a radio campaign in 2005 to promote tolerance of homosexuals.

In December, the Mexico City legislature approved the first law in Latin America explicitly giving gay marriages the same status as heterosexual ones. The legislation, affecting only the capital, also allows same-sex couples to adopt children.

Mexico City's annual gay pride parade draws tens of thousands of people, and in some neighborhoods gays openly hold hands.

But violence against gays seems to have increased as more become public about their sexual orientation, said Alejandro Brito, director of Letter S, one of the groups that released the report.

Mexico City had the most homophobia-motivated killings, with 144 between 1995 and 2009, according to the report.

Despite the federal government's push to promote tolerance, President Felipe Calderon's conservative administration campaigned against the Mexico City law allowing same-sex marriage.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:42 am 
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Mexico City Gay Pride 2010

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People dressed as clowns celebrate Gay Pride in Mexico City
Picture: AFP/GETTY

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A reveller takes part in the Gay Pride parade in Mexico City
Picture: REUTERS

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:44 pm 
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Mexico City sees 271 gay weddings in 4 months
6 July 2010

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A gay celebrate their marriage in front of Mexico City city hall

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico City has seen 271 gay and lesbian couples get married since the capital enacted the first law in Latin America explicitly allowing same-sex marriages.

The city government says there have been 142 marriages between men and 129 between women in the four months since the law went took effect March 4.

The government said Tuesday that 18 foreigners were among those married, and the rest were Mexican citizens. The largest number of marriages occurred in the first month after the law took effect.

Mexico's Supreme Court is considering challenges to the law, which applies only to the capital, but the measure will remain in effect while the review is under way. A decision is expected sometime around August.

Source: Yahoo! AP.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:23 am 
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Mexican capital aims to be oasis for gays
By Jennifer Gonzalez
July 27, 2010

MEXICO CITY (AFP) — Mexico City's gay community has in recent decades turned the capital into a relative oasis in a strongly Catholic country reknowned for its conservatism and machismo.

The authorities in the Mexican capital are now seeking to attract gay tourism, even though there is still widespread discrimination against them. The city is well placed "to become the first gay friendly destination in Latin America," said tourism secretary, Alejandro Rojas.

In March, the urban sprawl of some 20 million people celebrated the first legal gay and lesbian weddings in Latin America. And this week, authorities said they had opened the first tourism office for homosexuals in the region. Gay tourists are discerning, respectful and spend 47 percent more than heterosexual tourists, Rojas said. His leftist city government last week offered a free honeymoon here to the first gay couple to wed in Argentina after that country legalized same-sex marriages in the whole country.

In Mexico City's Zona Rosa district, a hub for the homosexual community, gay actor Tito Vasconcelos applauded the advances but underlined that "there's a lack of consistency between statements and reality," for Mexico's gay community.

Vasconcelos, the owner of Los Cabaretitos chain of discotheques, was among a small group who joined a student protest in 1978 in the first public appearance of the gay and lesbian community here. Last June, more than 400,000 people took part in the capital's annual gay pride march. "There's a lot more to do," Vasconcelos said. "One of the most important things is training for justice officials," he said, adding many did not know how to respond to attacks on gay people. He also underlined that the attorney general has lodged an appeal at the Supreme Court against the capital's approval of gay marriages and opening of the way for adoptions.

The law provoked a wave of uproar from religious groups and conservatives including President Felipe Calderon, and a string of states are seeking to apply measures to specifically prohibit gay marriages.

Nora Huerta, from four-girl lesbian theater group "The Pretty Queens," said that, even in the capital, attitudes had not changed much. "Mexico City is an oasis, but there's still a long way to go, starting with the fact that there's still discrimination in the capital even though there's a law which prohibits it," Huerta said.

Dario T. Pie, who dresses up on stage as legendary Mexican actress Maria Felix, said it had been a long fight to be able to put on such shows. "We've suffered attacks from conservative sectors, but with enormous benefits because when something is banned or censored, people run to see it." Pie said institutions needed more guidance on avoiding discrimination.

This year, complaints from homosexuals across Mexico doubled, although that was partly because people are more aware of their rights, said Ricardo Bucio, from the National Council to Prevent Discrimination. Some 645 homophobic killings have been reported since 1995, according to the council, including the death of a transexual activist this month in central Hidalgo state.

Source: Google AFP.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:43 am 
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Mexico court upholds gay marriage law
5 August 2010

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) — Mexico's supreme court on Thursday upheld a landmark law that allows gay marriage in the capital city, bucking a challenge raised by the conservative government of President Felipe Calderon.

This year, Mexico City became the first capital in mainly Catholic Latin America to pass a law allowing gay couples the same marriage and adoption rights as heterosexuals. But Calderon's government and his right-wing National Action Party, or PAN, argued the law was unconstitutional on grounds it would be destructive to families. The powerful Catholic hierarchy in Mexico calls gay marriage immoral.

While the supreme court decided gay marriage was constitutional, it will review the adoption clause on Monday. "Those of us who are in favor of this (law) are in favor of diversity and tolerance," Supreme Court Justice Arturo Zaldivar said during the court's deliberations. "Our constitution does not establish a concept of marriage," he said.

Since the law was passed, more than 300 same-sex couples have tied the knot, the majority of them men. Activists see the law as part of a sea change in attitudes on homosexuality in much of traditionally macho Latin America. Argentina this year passed a law allowing gay marriage nationwide, the first such measure in the region. Neighboring Uruguay allows same-sex couples to adopt under civil unions, but not to marry.

Mexico City's bill was pushed through by leftist Mayor Marcelo Ebrard, who has backed other liberal measures like the legalization of abortion, which remains illegal in most cases across the rest of the country. With some 20 million residents, the Mexico City metropolitan area is one of the world's largest cities.

(Reporting by Miguel Angel Guitierrez; writing by Mica Rosenberg; editing by Missy Ryan and Jerry Norton)
Source: Reuters.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:18 am 
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Mexico supreme court upholds gay adoptions
By E. Eduardo Castillo
16 August 2010

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A gay rights activist waves a rainbow flag, representing gay pride, during a demonstration outside the Supreme Court in Mexico City, Monday, Aug. 16, 2010

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's Supreme Court voted Monday to uphold a Mexico City law allowing adoptions by same-sex couples, drawing jubilant cheers from gay advocacy groups and angry protests from Roman Catholic Church representatives.

The justices voted 9-2 against challenges presented by federal prosecutors and others who had argued the law fails to protect adoptive children against possible ill effects or discrimination, or to guarantee their right to a traditional family.

"Today, institutionalized homophobia has been buried," said Jaime Lopez Vela, a leader of the group Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transsexual and Transgender Agenda. "We are happy, because now we have the same rights and responsibilities of any other married couple."

Monday's decision followed earlier Supreme Court rulings that same-sex marriages performed in Mexico City are constitutional and that other Mexican states must respect them. Mexico City's groundbreaking same-sex marriage law, enacted in March, extends to wedded gay couples the right to adopt children, to jointly apply for bank loans, to inherit wealth and to be covered by their spouses' insurance policies.

Outside the court building, dozens of gay-rights activists erupted in cheers and chanted "Now we've won!", while a similar number of opponents of the Mexico City law chanted "Man plus woman equals marriage," and "Father, Mother, that's what children need!"

Justices voting with the majority argued that once same-sex marriages had been approved, it would be discriminatory to consider those couples less capable of parental duties than heterosexual couples. "There is no reliable evidence that sexual orientation determines, by itself" any other type of behavior, said Justice Arturo Saldivar, adding "the preferences of the parents do not determine (a child's) sexual orientation ... that is a discriminatory argument."

But church representatives strongly opposed the ruling. Father Hugo Valdemar, the spokesman for the Archdiocese of Mexico, said the court had "treated children as if they were pets, to be adopted by whoever wants one, and that violates their rights." Armando Martinez, the leader of the Catholic Lawyers' Association, said his group will ask for the impeachment of the justices who voted to uphold the Mexico City law, adding "the justices are not God. They make a lot of mistakes."

Three hundred and thirty-nine gay and lesbian couples have married under the law, but city officials say none of those couples have yet applied to adopt children. Lopez Vela said his group expects to present the first such application next week, on behalf a lesbian couple. But the already difficult process of adoption in Mexico — it usually involves years of red tape, and orphans here are usually adopted by a relative anyway — make it unlikely that same-sex adoptions of unrelated children will ever be numerous. For example, Lopez Vela said the first application would involve the adoption of a girl by the lesbian partner of the child's biological mother.

Justices who sided with the majority stressed that potential adoptive parents, gay or straight, are checked for suitability as part of the adoption process. "It is not a question of sexuality that determines whether a person is qualified or not to adopt," said Justice Margarita Luna.

The Roman Catholic Church heatedly opposed the law, and the court voted unanimously Monday to condemn comments by Cardinal Juan Sandoval, the archbishop of Guadalajara, who suggested over the weekend that justices may have been paid off by the Mexico City government to favor the law.

Mexico City's law was the first of its type in Latin America when it was enacted. Argentina became the first country in the region to permit gay marriage in July, when President Cristina Fernandez signed legislation declaring that wedded gay and lesbian couples have all the same legal rights and responsibilities as heterosexual couples, including the right to inheritance and to jointly adopt children.

Associated Press Writer Mark Stevenson contributed to this report.
Source: Yahoo! AP.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:43 pm 
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Mexico's gays live in a bell jar
2 September 2010
By Michael Stuerzenhofecker

Mexico City (dpa) — Juan keeps looking nervously at the door as he talks about his homosexuality: Most of his Mexico City neighbours do not know that he is gay.

However, the 24-year-old chemist says "When they ask me, of course I tell them."

Nonetheless, Juan has had unpleasant experiences when it comes to his sexuality and he would rather be cautious.

Attacks on gays and lesbians are not frequent in Mexico, but only a few homosexuals display their sexual preference openly. There is still great prejudice in this country where the majority of the population is Roman Catholic.

The Mexican church hierarchy describes homosexuality as abominable, while one politician from the central Mexican state of Queretaro recently asked that special rooms be reserved for gays and lesbians in bars and cafes, so that other customers can be spared "shows."

And yet Mexico City last year became the first city in Latin America to allow homosexual marriage, granting them full rights including adoption. A complaint was filed before the Supreme Court against homosexuals' right to adopt children, but the tribunal validated their right to adopt. There has been intense debate in recent weeks and months.

Jorge, a 31-year-old gay man, shocked the country and caused major controversy because his mother is to be both the grandmother and the mother of Jorge's child. She agreed to bear his son as a surrogate mother and is now five months into her pregnancy.

Jorge, who is from the Mexican city of Guadalajara, wants to travel to San Francisco in order to take a course for homosexual parents. There are currently no such courses within Mexico, although this too might change in the coming months.

The court decision over adoptions by homosexual couples was rejected by conservatives, but it launched great joy in the Zona Rosa (Spanish for the Pink Zone), the focus of homosexual life in the centre of Mexico City. "Sooner or later all homosexuals come to the Zona Rosa," says Juan.

The neighbourhood, also very popular among heterosexual tourists, is the capital of gay and transsexual Mexico, and increasingly also of neighbouring countries. Everyone can freely act upon their sexual preferences in the Zona Rosa, something which cannot be taken for granted in most of Latin America and even in parts of the United States.

But the Zona Rosa is a bell jar, Juan stresses. Many heterosexual Mexicans avoid the area, particularly at night, when sex shops, bars, restaurants and nightclubs are in their full splendour.

Beyond these streets, however, there is a wholly different world. "When my boyfriend and I leave the Zona Rosa, I instinctively let go of his hand," Juan says.

On paper, homosexuals in Mexico City have a lot more freedom than they have in most other cities across the Americas. But in real life they do not really have the same rights as their heterosexual neighbours.

For Juan, there is no open dialogue between homosexuals and heterosexuals. The law has strengthened the homosexual community in its ghetto within the Zona Rosa, but the goal remains to do away with such bell jars altogether. For that to happen, dialogue is essential. "Most of the time we talk about each other, but not to each other," Juan says.

Source: Earth Times / dpa

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:56 am 
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Gays march in Tecate
by Rex Wockner
4 November 2010

About 150 LGBT people staged a pride march and protest in Tecate, Mexico, Oct. 24. The city, famous for its beer, sits on the California border about 40 miles southeast of San Diego.

The march, the city's first, went down the busiest street and ended at the central plaza. It also was a protest against a state constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriages in Baja California state and seemingly also ban recognition of same-sex marriages from Mexico City, where they are legal.

The amendment passed the state legislature in late September but has been stalled since then. Two days after it passed, control of the legislature switched from one political party to another, in accord with elections that had been held this past summer -- and the new ruling party has delayed sending the amendment to the state's five political subdivisions for ratification.

The new party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, is considered more gay-friendly than the party that lost power, the National Action Party.

A statement from the Baja California State Council on Sexual Diversity suggested that local police were not on their best behavior during the march.

"It is worth mentioning that discrimination and homophobia were clearly visible from the ranks of the city's public-security bureau since they did not heed the call made earlier to safeguard the physical integrity of the participants and traffic control for the full completion of the march," the council said.

Source: Pridesource.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:20 pm 
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Mexico advises workers on macho language
23 March 2011

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A masked woman rallying during Women's International Day in Mexico City on March 8.

Mexico's interior ministry has released a guide to reducing sexist language in government offices of a nation renowned for its machismo.

The "Manual for the Non-Sexist Use of Language" is a "tool to familiarize federal public workers with the use of non-sexist strategies in the Spanish language," according to the introduction of the guide distributed Wednesday. The manual seeks to reduce comments that enforce sexual stereotypes, such as "If you want to work, why did you have children?" or "You're prettier when you keep quiet," according to the document. It also seeks to avoid referring to women in terms of possession, such as "Pedro's wife."

The Mexican government acknowledged on International Women's Day earlier this month that "insults and harassment" of women remained a problem. The recommendations came amid concern over a rise in female homicides in Mexico, also called femicides, in which women are particularly targeted for their gender.

Source: Breitbart.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:52 am 
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Long-lost El Santo skin flick to debut
By Cyntia Barrera Diaz
24 March 2011



MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican wrestler El Santo defeated mummies, Martians, werewolves and zombies in dozens of films during a 40-year career that catapulted him to cult status among film lovers worldwide.

But a never-before-seen performance by the popular wrestler debuts next week in Guadalajara's International Film Festival shows him fighting a new breed of villains: naked she-vampires.

The movie, "El Vampiro y el Sexo" (The Vampire and the Sex), is a director's cut of a late 1960s flick, originally titled "Santo in the Treasure of Dracula," that adds scenes where the hero resists the allure of voluptuous, blood-thirsty, in-the-buff temptresses.

It was the first color movie made by Rodolfo Guzman, better known by his stage name of El Santo (The Saint). But the uncut version was locked away by producer Guillermo Calderon Stell on concerns it would taint the wrestler's family-friendly image at a time when even miniskirts raised brows in conservative Mexico.

"I was intrigued. I had seen so many articles online (on the alleged existence of the film) that I said to myself: 'Let's look for it!'," Calderon's grandniece Viviana Garcia Besne told Reuters in a phone interview Wednesday. She found the reels gathering dust in her uncle's storeroom while researching for a documentary about her family's prolific film production during the heyday of Mexican cinema in the 1940s and 1950s.

Guzman, who wore a silver mask, tights, briefs and knee-high boots in most of his action scenes, did not shed any additional clothes in the spicy version, which may have been made to target more open-minded European audiences.

Garcia Besne said the wrestler was not involved in any sexual behavior with the she-vampires. "The image of El Santo is not compromised in any way, he's just fighting the vampires," Garcia Besne said. Die-hard followers of El Santo knew and talked about the film -- stills showing Dracula goggling over a bare-chested woman have made rounds in fan pages for years -- but the entire movie has never been shown before.

The production is the centerpiece of a vampire movie selection curated by Guillermo del Toro, director of "Blade II," "Hellboy" and "Pan's Labyrinth" within the festival (www.ficg.org).

Guzman died in 1984 shortly after retiring from the ring. His image remains popular among kids and grownups in Mexico, Latin America, Japan and Europe, where his movies are branded as surrealist.

(Reporting by Cyntia Barrera Diaz; Editing by Patricia Reaney)
Source: Reuters.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:47 pm 
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Mexicans Oppose Gay Households, Adoptions, Poll Says
18 May 2011

MEXICO CITY — Four out of every 10 Mexicans reject the idea of sharing a house with gays or lesbians, while eight out of 10 are against adoptions by same-sex couples, a national poll found.

Intolerance is highest among people with low educational levels, while those with more schooling tend to be more accepting of different groups, the 2010 National Survey on Discrimination, or Enadis, found.

The survey was prepared by the National Council on Discrimination in Mexico, or Conapred, and the National Autonomous University of Mexico, or UNAM. The Enadis results were released on Tuesday, which was International Day against Homophobia.

The survey, which was conducted between October and December 2010, gathered responses from 52,095 people in 13,751 households. Mexicans with lower educational levels show "marked intolerance" toward homosexuals, Conapred director Ricardo Bucio said. Some six out of 10 people without schooling said they were "not willing to allow homosexuals to live in their homes," Bucio said, adding that "this (attitude) is falling as schooling increases."

Those with upper medium and high socioeconomic levels have more tolerant views of gays and lesbians, with seven of 10 respondents in these groups saying they "are willing to live in the same home as homosexual people," Bucio said. People older than 60, according to the 2010 Enadis, are the most intolerant toward gays and lesbians.

Source: Latin American Herald Tribune / EFE.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:33 pm 
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Thousands March for Gay Rights in Western Mexico
12 June 2011

GUADALAJARA, Mexico — More than 10,000 people participated in a gay rights march held in the western Mexican city of Guadalajara, police and emergency services officials said.

Members of human rights, gay rights and other non-governmental organizations took part in the march on Saturday to demand respect for gays and lesbians. One of the march"s goals was to demand that Jalisco Gov. Emilio Gonzalez Marquez, a member of the conservative National Action Party, or PAN, end the homophobia that has marked his administration, the director of the Codice gay rights group, Rodrigo Rincon, said.

"It"s a message for the governor and the mayors who have not created inclusive policies but have instead created controversy by saying that we disgust them," Rincon said. Thousands of curious onlookers watched the parade of decorated vehicles, muscular dancing men and transsexuals dressed in colorful outfits.

A powerful rainstorm interrupted the parade at its halfway mark, prompting some people to leave, but others kept marching into the historic downtown area, where they were welcomed by supporters. Marchers strolled into the Plaza de la Liberacion, located next to the cathedral and the seat of the state government, about 30 minutes later.

Source: Latin American Herald Tribune.

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