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Mexico protects its gay and lesbian citizens with new law.

Mexico recently became the second country in Latin America to provide anti-discrimination protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people at the national level. In April the Mexican Parliament unanimously passed a "Federal Law to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination" that includes "sexual preferences" as a protected category. The law creates the National Council to Prevent Discrimination, a body with the power to investigate discriminatory acts committed by public officers.

Up to now, the only country in Latin America having nation-wide protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was Ecuador.

Article 4 of the new Mexican Federal Law to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination defines discrimination as "every distinction, exclusion or restriction based on ethnic or national origin, sex, age, disability, social or economic status, health, pregnancy, language, religion, opinion, sexual preferences, civil status or any other, that impedes recognition or enjoyment or fights and real equality in terms of opportunities for people".

Article 9 defines as "discriminatory behavior"--among others--"impeding access to public or private education; prohibiting free choice of employment, restricting access, permanency or promotion in employment; denying or restricting information on reproductive rights; denying medical services; impeding participation in civil, political or any other kind of organisations; impeding the exercise of property rights; offending, ridiculing or promoting violence through messages and images displayed in communications media; impeding access to social security and its benefits; impeding access to any public service or private institution providing services to the public; limiting freedom of movement; exploiting or treating in an abusive or degrading way; restricting participation in sports, recreation or cultural activities; incitement to hatred, violence, rejection, ridicule, defamation, slander, persecution or exclusion; promoting or indulging in physical or psychological abuse based on physical appearance or dress, talk, mannerisms or for openly acknowledging one's sexual preference.

The Council to Prevent Discrimination will promote non-discriminatory behaviour at public institutions through sensitivity workshops and specific campaigns (Article 84).

Source: International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, 23 April 2003
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Publication:Sister Namibia
Geographic Code:1MEX
Date:Jan 1, 2003
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