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Sunday, 11 January 2015

Mexicali madness: gay couple must be crazy to want to marry

In Mexicali, Mexico, gay marriage is legal, but mentally unstable people are not permitted to marry, and since a gay couple must be crazy to want to get married, they’re out of luck.
"My rights are not crazy"

Mexicali is the capital of the State of Baja California, on the US border near Tijuana. Civil marriages of gay couples is legal throughout Mexico, according to that country’s Supreme Court, but the reality is that local prejudices still hold sway: despite repeated attempts, no gay couple has ever been married in Baja California. Usually the roadblocks are due to unexplained “paperwork” and other bureaucratic canards.

Most recently, a gay couple in Mexicali made their fourth attempt (their first was in June, 2013) and were again denied. The reasons were elegantly Orwellian: according to a city official, the two men “suffer from madness,” proof of which was their impertinence at being denied the right to marry.

In other words, if they had accepted that they could not get married, then they could get married, but as long as they complained that they could not get married, they would be denied.

At issue is the fact that every married couple must first attend a counselling session. These sessions are run by the esteemed Angelica Guadalupe Gonzalez Sanchez, president of the Coalition of Baja California Families, who made the complaint that the men were mentally unstable, due primarily to the fact that they were “aggressive” and “impertinent” when she told them that she would not certify that they had successfully completed the session.

Gonzalez’s husband further clarified matters by telling the couple that the sessions were exclusively for heterosexual couples.

The two defenders of exclusive rights of heterosexuals might want to check in with Bishop Vera Lopez, head of the Diocese of Saltillo, Mexico, who has declared that, in fact, it is homophobia that is a mental illness.

(TE Wilson is the author of Mezcalero, a Detective Sánchez novel.)

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