POSTCARDS FROM MEXICO: Pride, Museum Chopo

CLICK HERE TO VIEW MORE PHOTOS FROM MEXICO CITY PRIDE

The city’s LGBT community celebrated Gay Pride Month with several very gay events at the Museum Chopo, a contemporary and experimental space that looks more like a gothic cathedral building built in 1902. The Chopo has always been home to Ciudad de Mexico’s LGBT artistic community, annually hosting Pride Week festivities.

This week alone, the Chopo has sponsored several LGBT cultural events, such as a contemporary dance performance by the gay dance company La Cebra, directed by well-known gay contemporary gay dancer José Rivera. La Cebra celebrated 15 years of the dance company’s existence by performing “No Soy Pancho Villa, ni me gusta el futbol” (“I am not Pancho Villa nor Do I Like Soccer”).

Earlier this week, the Chopo opened with México’s longest annual LGBT art show: XXIV Festival Internacional de la Diversidad Sexual (International Festival of Sexual Diversity). This year’s exhibit, “Diferente” (“Different”), features paintings, photography (far right), collages and items that are sexually diverse, was well attended.

— Jesus Chairez

Chopo Museum, Dr. Enrique González Martínez 10, Col. Santa Maria la Ribera, Mexico City. The exhibit runs through Oct. 19.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 1, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Scenes from Mexico City Pride

Photos by Jesus Chairez/Special Contributor

 

—  John Wright

New feature: Postcards from Mexico

México City’s 33rd annual Pride Parade is Saturday, June 25. Parade begins at the Angel of Independence in México City’s gay business district, La Zone Rosa (the Pink Zone) at noon sharp and ends at the Zocalo in front of the presidential palace. And our intrepid reporter in Mexico, Jesus Chairez, will be there.

Jesus is spending the summer in Ciudad de Mexico (with jaunts around the country) and will be updating us regularly with e-postcards about all the gay that Mexico has to offer. Look for the feature next week and beyond.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

LGBT Latino history to be published this summer

Jesus Chairez
Jesus Chairez

Dallas’ “gay Latino godfather” Jesus Chairez is participating in a project to produce a national history of gay Latino activism.

Chairez, who was appointed president of LGBT radio station KNON’s board of directors in October, said he recently resigned from that position to focus on the history project and to allow more time for travel in Mexico.

Serving on the KNON board was rewarding, but the volunteer work was time-consuming, said Chairez, who returned to Dallas last year after retiring in Mexico City. He lived there for three years and plans to return there for a long visit this summer.

“It was a full-time job,” said Chairez of his KNON work. “I was not following my dream. Since being on the board I had not blogged, not written a column, nor even started my own book.”

Chairez and several other gay Latino writers are cooperating in the writing of the planned book “Latina/o GLBT Activism in the U.S. and Puerto Rico: A Social History.” The writers will present first-person narratives about events they witnessed from the 1970s through the 1990s. The release of the book is planned for this summer.

“This project is a response to both the invisibility within mainstream Latina/o organizations, and a gringo GLBT movement,” Chairez said in a statement. “This book aims to preserve our GLBT Latino history as Latinas/os and activists as we experienced it, and in that sense my contribution is essential.”

—  admin

Dallas’ gay Latino godfather returns

After we put up an old photo earlier showing Chairez with long hair, he asked us to replace it with this. “I have a new look: lost weight and cut my hair,” he said. 

Jesus Chairez, known as the “godfather” of Dallas’ LGBT Latino movement, says he’s moving back to Big D from Mexico City, where he’s lived for the last two-and-a-half years. From an e-mail this morning:

I should be in Dallas on September 17th after Mexico’s big party on September 15, which this year celebrates Mexico’s 200 years of Independence from Spain and commemorates 100 years of the Mexican revolution of 1910.

For your information September 16th is Mexico Independence day, but the party always starts on Sept 15th with the GRITO of the current President of Mexico in the Zocalo. I will be in the middle of the Zocalo with thousands of people. This is how I will close my book too, by being here for Mexico’s 200-year anniversary.

About my book that I will be writing:  from DFW to DF and back. (DF is how Mexico City is known by Mexicans, it is the Federal District, much like our D.C., it is not a state). It will be a book about my life as a gay Latino, a gay Latino activist that started DFW’s first Latino GLBT group and that started USA’s first Latino GLBT radio show, Sin Fronteras. One that went to the motherland, the land that was my grandparents, and returned.

I would have left on Sept 16th but I don’t want to fly with a hangover. I will be in Dallas for the Pride Parade, too — YEA.

We’ve posted Chairez’s goodbye letter to Mexico City below. He says he plans to stay in Dallas until he gets the book written, but may then travel elsewhere, perhaps to Buenos Aires. Welcome back for now, Santo Gay.

—  John Wright

Mexico City mayor sues cardinal who suggested lawmakers bribed courts

Comment comes after Supreme Court upholds laws allowing gay marriage, adoption by gay couples

From staff and wire ReportS editor@dallasvoice.com

Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez
Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez

MEXICO CITY — Mexico City’s leftist mayor has filed suit against a Roman Catholic cardinal who suggested he bribed the Supreme Court to uphold a city law allowing adoptions by same-sex couples, according to reports by the Spanish news agency EFE.

Mayor Marcelo Ebrard is charging Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez with slander after Iniquez said in a sermon on Sunday, Aug. 15, that same-sex marriages are an “abberration,” and asked his congregation, “Would you want to be adopted by a pair of faggots or lesbians?”

He then accused Ebrard of having bribed the Mexico Supreme Court justices to get them to uphold laws allowing same-sex couples to marry and to adopt, as well as ordering that same-sex marriages performed legally in Mexico City must be legally recognized throughout the country.

Iguinez said Monday, Aug. 16, that his archdiocese in Guadalajara has proof of his claims of bribery.

The court has denied and condemned the accusation. But the church is backing Iguinez.

In a statement, the Mexican Council of Bishops expressed its “solidarity and regards” for Sandoval Iniguez.

The council also stressed its continuing opposition to the adoption law and said “we regret that when these opinions are expressed, there are those who rebuke them and threaten to sound the alarm about intolerance.”

“We spoke out, as part of the freedom of expression guaranteed by our democratic system, in opposition to the Supreme Court ruling,without implying any disrespect for the institutions of the Mexican government.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 20, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Dallasite creates local Marriage Equality group

Couple starts Dallas chapter of national group that promotes equality for same-sex couples

Tammye Nash  |  Senior Editor
nash@dallasvoice.com

 Eric Crawford, right, and his fiance Marcus Watson
ENGAGED IN CHANGE | Eric Crawford, right, and his fiance Marcus Watson, pictured here in Central Park, first heard of Marriage Equality USA during a June trip to New York City.

Last week in California, federal District Judge Vaughn Walker issued a ruling striking down the state’s anti-gay-marriage constitutional amendment, known as Proposition 8.

Earlier this year, legislators in Mexico City passed a law legalizing same-sex marriage, and last week the country’s Supreme Court issued a decision declaring the law constitutionally valid. Then this week, that same court ruled that same-sex marriages performed in Mexico City must be legally recognized throughout the country.

Portugal legalized same-sex marriage in May, and Argentina followed suit in July. And this week, Costa Rica’s Supreme Court ruled that an initiative on the ballot there for December, on whether to ban same-sex civil unions, is unconstitutional and cannot go forward.

The fight for marriage equality continues to advance around the globe.
But not in Texas.

It’s not that LGBT Texans aren’t trying. And Dallasite Eric Crawford said this week that he is joining the battle full force by starting a Dallas chapter of the national organization Marriage Equality USA.

“Right now, we are just having an organizational meeting,” Crawford said. But he has big plans for the future.

“We want to plan events throughout the year, things like maybe a Valentine’s Day dance in February and other things to focus attention on marriage equality,” he said. “There are a variety of efforts we could take on, letter-writing campaigns, attending events like the Prop 8 celebration here.

“I will get ideas from the people who participate, see what they are up for and how far they want to take it,” he added. “I know Marriage Equality USA needs funds to help fight the appeal on Prop 8 in California. Maybe we could help them raise the money they need.”

Crawford explained that he and his partner, Marcus Watson, first heard about the organization when they went to New York in June for the gay Pride celebration there.

Marriage was already on their minds since they got engaged the day before the left on the trip and are now planning a wedding for next July.

“We heard about Marriage Equality New York and what they are doing, and it really got me excited and engaged,” Crawford said. “So I started checking around in Dallas and I didn’t find any groups here specifically pertaining to marriage equality. Then I went online and found Marriage Equality USA.

“That’s when I really just got tired of being complacent and waiting on other people to do something, and I decided to start up a group here.”

His first step was to go to the MeetUp.com website and form a meet-up group for people in the Dallas area interested in promoting marriage equality to “gauge interest” in a marriage equality organization here. Crawford said he was surprised by the large number of straight allies who responded.

“I was really impressed by that,” he said. “It’s not just the gay community that cares about this.”

Although Dallas County has turned blue in recent elections, most of Texas remains decidedly red when it comes to political affiliations. And the Republican Party has, for the most part, stood firmly in opposition to legalizing same-sex marriage, especially in Texas where the state GOP platform even includes platforms calling for the return of sodomy laws and more.

But Crawford said he isn’t willing to concede the state to anti-gay forces.

“I think a lot of people in Texas have become complacent. They think, ‘Hey. It’s Texas. We can’t really do anything here to make a difference,’” he said.

“But the fact is, if it weren’t for two men from Houston who were willing to fight all the way to the Supreme Court, we’d still have sodomy laws on the books in this country. So that shows that change can get started in Texas, that we can accomplish things in Texas.

“And the first thing I think we need to do is make sure that our legislators in Austin know there is a huge group here in Texas that are for marriage equality. That is something we can do.”

The organizational meeting for Marriage Equality Dallas will be held Tuesday, Aug. 17, at 7:30 p.m. in the Park Room at Park Towers, 3310 Fairmont St. The meeting is open to all interested persons.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 13, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

Marriage battle continues in Latin America, with more wins for our side

The Mexico Supreme Court ruled last week that a Mexico City law, passed by legislators there earlier this year, is constitutional. The ruling came in a challenge to the new law pressed mainy by the country’s Roman Catholic religious leaders.

In another victory for LGBT civil rights, the Mexican Supreme Court ruled yesterday (Tuesday) that same-sex marriages performed legally in Mexico City must be legally recognized throughout the country, even though other Mexican states have not legalized gay marriage.

Mexico’s Supreme Court was expected to rule Thursday on an appeal of another law — passed by the Mexico City Legislature the same day that lawmakers legalized gay marriage there — that gives same-sex couples the right to adopt.

And today comes word that the Supreme Court of Costa Rica has ruled that a referendum that had been set to go to voters on Dec. 5 and that would have banned legal recognition of same-sex civil unions is unconstitutional.

“Minority rights that are derived from claims against the majority cannot be subject to a referendum process where majorities are needed,” the court said in a statement, according to Inquirer.net.

The referendum, again pushed by the Catholic Church, had come in response to draft legislation, introduced in 2008, that would give Costa Rican gays and lesbians access to legal civil unions that would carry some of the legal rights of marriage, including inheritance, health benefits and the right to hospital visitation in the event of injury or illness. The legislation has been stalled since it was introduced.

—  admin

In support of meaningless gay sex as it’s existed since Biblical times

Marriage equality got a big boost last week from Judge Vaughn Walker who threw out California’s Proposition 8 based on all evidence showing it was discriminatory and no evidence or witnesses offering any reason to prevent gays and lesbians from marrying — other than because they said so.

The next day, the Mexican Supreme Court handed down a decision upholding marriage equality in Mexico City by a decision of 8-2 Reports have come out today saying that the Supreme Court there has ruled that not only is Mexico City’s same-sex marriage law constitutional, but same-sex couples legally married in Mexico City have to be recognized as legally married throughout Mexico, even by those states that don’t allow gays to marry, according to CNN Mexico.

An unscientific Fox News poll shows (what Fox News poll really IS scientific?) showed more than 70 percent agree with the Judge Walker’s ruling.

So we have marriage in all three North American capitals, across Canada and in five U.S. states. Marriage in Argentina. Marriage being debated in Uruguay and civil unions proposed in Chile, Paraguay and Costa Rica. And you can hardly find a European country anymore that doesn’t treat gays, lesbians and straights equally.

The world is getting more and more difficult for those of us who believe in hot, sweaty, meaningless gay sex as it’s existed since Biblical times.

While I understand the right people have to get married, little has been said lately for those of us who don’t want to marry. Ever.

First there’s the wedding. I hate weddings — gay or straight. I always have. I avoid them like the plague.

Pretending to be happy for the couple. Shopping for the gifts — especially if they’ve registered someplace I’m boycotting. Dressing up in something other than my trademark sneakers. Weddings, to me, are torture.

Next there are those 1,000-plus benefits married couples get. There are also a few I’ve benefited from over the years that unmarried people enjoy.

A former partner and I bought a house in Dallas and a house on Cedar Creek Lake. He homesteaded the Dallas house. I homesteaded the Henderson County house. A married couple can only homestead one property but Texas didn’t recognize our relationship so this was completely legal. They can’t have it both ways.

As a homesteaded Henderson County resident, albeit only two days a week, I registered my car at the county courthouse in Athens for less than it would have cost in Dallas and as a bonus got lower insurance rates as well. (This was long before gay-friendly Progressive Insurance came along. That company happily calls my current domestic partner and me a couple — cheap ploy to get ALL of our business.)

For older Americans, social security benefits are often lower for couples than for singles. My father and his wife never got a civil marriage because their monthly pension check would have been lower as a couple than they received as singles.

But one of the biggest benefits is not taking on the debt of, or dividing the wealth with, your dead-beat ex-husband. A married couple, especially in a community property state, divides all wealth and all debts equally between spouses.

So in divorce number 13, I would have had to give up some of my stuff and gotten nothing from him. And in divorce number 17, I would have acquired half of his massive Neiman Marcus bill.

Marriage? No thank you. I’ll stick to uncommitted, meaningless relationships as they’ve existed since Biblical times. Maybe even longer. (And yes, therapy’s been recommended — by friends, co-workers and Candy Marcum.)

—  David Taffet