Are Gays Persecuted in Mexico?

A gay cow-orker and I were discussing vacation plans today. He mentioned that he’s always wanted to go to Cancun, but his fear if going to jail for being gay has prevented it. •Note: he has get mannerisms and speech and would likely ping anyone’s gaydar.

I get that Mexican culture might not, on the whole, be particularly accepting of gays, but I’ve never heard of gays being jailed there. Is my friend’s fear a legitimate one?

BTW, I apologize for the “sent from my phone blah blah blah” spam. It’s automatic when I post from my phone and I don’t know how to disable it.

Sent from my SGH-i677 using Board Express

I know this doesn’t answer your question, but couldn’t he just ‘turn off his gayness’ when he’s in Mexico? I’m not trying to be funny; it’s a serious question.

I’ve personally never heard of it happening, but I know that gay Latinos go to incredible lengths to conceal it from their cohorts. However, it would seem to me that money speaks louder than actions. He’s bringing tourist dollars to the area. I’m guessing that trumps anything. He could probably hump a dog right on the beach and nobody would care as long as he’s tossing enough money around.

A simple web search shows that his fears are groundless. Homosexuality is perfectly legal in Mexico, although (as in America) some people and some areas are friendlier than others and violence against gay people is not unknown. Cancun has large numbers of gay tourists. Heck, same sex marriage is even legal in Mexico City and a few other places.

It’s no gay utopia, but no one is going to put him in jail for having a little sugar in his shoes.

Orking cows, on the other hand, can buy you some serious time.


Hell, they’re more advanced than the U.S. when it comes to marriage equality.

I assume you don’t necessarily mean “turn off his gayness,” you mean “turn off his gay mannerisms.” It certainly seems reasonable. It’s been done that way here in the USA for years.

Wikipedia has an incredibly comprehensive series of articles titled “LGBT rights in X”, where you can substitute any country’s name for X. The article LGBT rights in Mexico says that gay sex is legal (has been since 1871!), that federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of “sexual preferences”, and that same-sex marriage is recognized in Mexico City. So it seems there is no reason to fear legal persecution.

The article also mentions that gay tourism is popular in Cancún.

Some gay people can, and some can’t. I’m quite, uh, stereotypically-masculine in ordinary behaviour, and gay mannerisms are an affectation which I can turn on and off. But some of my friends are much “gayer” in ordinary behaviour and they really can’t turn it off, no matter how hard they try.

Hola. I live in Mexico. The general populace thinks gays are funny (like strange), but they in no way look down on their lifestyle. They totally accept this life style. No problemas here.

Even in places where homosexuality is illegal(enforced or not) harassing a tourist would probably be unheard of. Can anyone find one instance of a tourist being arrested for being gay?

Good comments already. Let me just add that, in the Yucatan Peninsula’s other major city, Merida, there is a population (not sure how many, perhaps several hundred) of Cuban-born gays, who (I’ve been told) left Cuba due to discrimination there. They are generally well regarded by the other city residents – many are artistically inclined (e.g., dance teachers).

Just a data point which underscores what others have said.

You generally have to do something more than just being gay.

These tourists were arrested in Dominica, where gay sex is illegal, for indecent exposure. They were having sex on a cruise ship balcony.

And these tourists were arrested in Gambia, apparently for soliciting gay sex.

But as everyone else has said, this is not an issue in Mexico.

The OP’s coworker reminds me of a friend of mine who is afraid to visit certain parts of the U.S. because she fears violence against Jews. :confused:

I’m guessing your gay cow-orker has never heard of Puerto Vallarta which is very gay friendly with gay clubs, restaurants, and hotels-all flying the rainbow flag. I’m heading to Cancun next month with my partner and I’m not worried at all.

Jamaica on the other hand.

Or worse:

Sounds like an episode of Will & Grace gone horribly awry.

Actually, that sounds exactly like an episode of Will and Grace.

Will: <nervously running hand through hair> Now Jack, you know that we’re in Mexico, it’s practically a third world country and that have ideas about… <pointing back and forth between himself and Jack> us… that are backward and primitive, so you need to… <arms defiantly akimbo> butch it up a bit.

Jack: <chewing gum and smiling wildly tilting the head> No, can do, Will-o. Wait 'till they get a load of… <palms suddenly frame the face> solo Juan!

Ah, so bad. Both the good and the bad kind of bad.

To be precise on this issue, the validity of an existing Mexican SSM is recognized everywhere in Mexico. But contracting a SSM is legal only in the D.F. (Mexico City and environs, corresponding more or less to D.C.), and apparently now in Quintana Roo – which is the location of the “Mayan Riviera” including places such as Cancun, Cozumel, etc. But a marriage contracted in DF (and maybe QR) will be recognized in all states, even if one cannot contract a SSM there. (By way of parallel, think of the situation in New York State and Maryland prior to the legalization of SSM there – they recognized other states’ SSMs, but did not themselves perform them.)

AFAICT, there is no formal decision on whether ‘foreign’ (US, Canadian, Dutch, Spanish, etc.) SSMs will be recognized in Mexican law.