05/20/14 (written by brianfo) — In honor of the United Nations sponsored International Day against Homophobia on May 17, 2014, the mayor of Mexico City, Miguel Ángel Mancera, announced that he was pushing a series of initiatives through the Legislative Assembly that would combat homophobia and transphobia; a move that may drastically improve the protection of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community in the capital.
Mancera’s push marks one of the biggest steps that the government has taken to protecting the Mexican LGBT community. The campaign to institutionally combat homophobia and transphobia comes at a time when the Federal District (Distrito Federal) is home to a high number of homicides due to homophobia, as reported by the organization Colectivo Letra S. According to the organization’s recent report through Mexico’s Citizen’s Commission against Hate Crimes from Homophobia (Comisión Ciudadana Contra Crímenes de Odio por Homofobia, CCCCOH), from 1995 to 2013, 168 of the 887 nationwide homicides that targeted members of the LGBT community occurred in the Federal District, about 19% of the total. Mancera acknowledged the severity of the situation, saying, “Gays and lesbians come in second and ninth place [nationwide] among groups that are discriminated against,” second only to the indigenous population.
Mancera mentioned that the goals of his initiatives aim to foster the safe development and integration of the LGBT community with the rest of Mexican society. For that reason, various departments across the Federal District will have to abide by these new measures when implemented. For example, the Secretary of Education (Secretaría de Educación) will have to development new curriculum that promotes acceptance and inclusion of sexual diversities and equality. Meanwhile, judicial agencies (Consejería Jurídica y de Servicios Legales) will have to create special legal defense programs for the LGBT community. For its part, the Secretary of Employment (Secretaría del Trabajo y Previsión Social) will have to implement policies that foster acceptance and respect for sexual diversity in the work environment, including a job fair scheduled for June 2014 designed specifically for incorporating and welcoming LGBT individuals in the work force.
As Mexico City prepares for these new initiatives, it will be interesting to see how the Mexican people handle these policies. The DF has proven to be a unique case study as it has led the country with its pro-LGBT measures—such as legalizing same-sex marriages and legalizing adoption of children by same-sex couples—, but it has also seen the highest rate of murders due to homophobia than the rest of the country.