Mass same-sex wedding ceremony in Mexico challenges discrimination

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Even after 5 years of residing collectively within the Pacific resort metropolis of Acapulco, one thing so simple as holding palms or sharing a kiss in public is unthinkable for Dayanny Marcelo and Mayela Villalobos.

There may be an ever-present concern of being rejected or attacked in Guerrero, a state the place same-sex relationships should not broadly accepted and one in every of 5 in Mexico the place same-sex marriage remains to be not allowed.

However this week they traveled the 235 miles (380 kilometers) to Mexico’s capital, the place the town authorities hosted a mass wedding ceremony for same-sex {couples} as a part of celebrations of LGBT Pleasure Month.

Below a tent arrange within the plaza of the capital’s civil registry, together with about 100 different same-sex {couples}, Villalobos and Marcelo sealed their union Friday with a kiss whereas the marriage march performed within the background.

Their means to wed is taken into account one of many LGBT group’s biggest latest achievements in Mexico. It’s now potential in 27 of Mexico’s 32 states and has been twice upheld by the Supreme Court docket.

Simply married same-sex {couples} reduce a cake throughout a mass wedding ceremony ceremony in Mexico Metropolis on June 24, 2022. Fernando Llano / AP

Mexico, Brazil and Argentina high Latin America within the variety of same-sex marriages.

Mariaurora Mota, a frontrunner of the Mexican LGBTTTI+ Coalition, stated the motion nonetheless is working to ensure in all of Mexico the proper to vary one’s identification, have entry to well being care and social safety and to let transsexual minors change their gender on their beginning certificates.

Strolling round Mexico Metropolis a day earlier than their wedding ceremony, Marcelo and Villalobos confessed to feeling unusual holding palms within the metropolis streets. Shows of affection between same-sex {couples} within the capital are commonplace, however it was troublesome to shed their inhibititions.

“I really feel nervous,” stated Villalobos, a 30-year-old laptop science main, as Marcelo held her hand.

Villalobos grew up within the northern state of Coahuila in a conservative Christian group. She at all times felt an “inside wrestle,” as a result of she knew she had a unique sexual orientation, however feared her household would reject her. “I at all times cried as a result of I wished to be regular,” she stated.

She got here out to her mom when she was 23. She thought that transferring to Acapulco in 2017 with a younger niece would give her extra freedom.

Villalobos met Marcelo, a local of the seashore city, there. Marcelo, a 29-year-old store worker, stated her acceptance of her sexual orientation was not as traumatic as Villalobos’, however she nonetheless didn’t come out as pansexual till she was 24. She stated she had been aided by the Mexico Metropolis group Cuenta Conmigo, — Rely on Me — which offers academic and psychological help.

Strolling across the capital this week with large rainbow flags hanging from public buildings and smaller ones flapping in entrance of many companies, Villalobos couldn’t assist however examine it to her native state and her current house in Guerrero.

“In the identical nation the individuals are very open and in one other (place) … the individuals are close-minded, with messages of hate towards the group,” she stated.

Elihú Rendón, a 28-year-old administrative worker for a ride-sharing software, and Javier Vega Candia, a 26-year-old theater instructor, grew up in Mexico Metropolis and popping out for them was not so sophisticated.

“We’re in a metropolis the place they’re opening all the rights and prospects to us, together with doing this communal LGBT wedding ceremony,” stated Vega Candia as he held out Rendon’s hand to indicate off a hoop he had given him shortly earlier than they moved in collectively.

Once they stroll by the town’s streets they don’t hesitate to precise affection, generally hugging and dancing in a crosswalk whereas visitors was stopped.

“I’m completely satisfied to have been born on this metropolis considering that we have now these rights and never in a foreign country the place we could possibly be killed,” Vega Candia stated.

Villalobos and Marcelo don’t anticipate a lot of their every day lives to vary after they return to Acapulco as a married couple. However Marcelo stated that with the wedding certificates, she’s going to attempt to get Villalobos included on the medical insurance she receives by her employer.

“With a wedding certificates it’s simpler,” Marcelo stated. “If one thing occurs to me or one thing occurs to her, we’ll have proof that we’re collectively.”