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Topic / Gender, Race and Identity

Defending Rights from “Gender Ideology”: Discourses in Mexico’s Backlash against LGBTI Inclusion

Author: Roberto Zedillo Ortega

 

In May 2016, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto issued a number of directives for LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex) inclusion in various arenas, including marriage. This was followed by strong opposition, in particular from the Catholic Church and the National Front for the Family, a newly emerged coalition of civil society organizations. The following paper focuses on the discourses underlying said actors’ declarations, press releases, interviews, articles, and legislative efforts. It shows that, while Mexican adversaries to LGBTI equality still rely heavily on arguments related to nature, divinity, and biology, they have also come to internalize and deploy human rights discourses. This is part of an international trend whereby conservative forces, shying away from their initial skepticism, have now become adept at articulating their demands under human rights narratives.

 

Introduction[1]

While scholars have long discussed the circumstances under which steps towards LGBTI[2] equality may be met with resistance,[3] they have devoted less attention to the discursive components of backlash. Especially outside of Europe, few academics have explicitly noted that opposition to inclusive policies has come to be articulated under increasingly common frameworks. Thus, even though some media have alerted about phenomena like the rise against “gender ideology” in Latin America,[4] these narratives have merited only limited analysis.[5]

To fill this gap, the present article examines the discourses that opponents to LGBTI rights in Mexico have most recently relied on. It focuses on the aftermath of 17 May 2016, when in commemoration of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB), President Enrique Peña Nieto issued a number of directives for inclusion. Among other things, he instructed his cabinet to create protocols for non-discriminatory access to health care, develop a national campaign against homophobia, inscribe “respect for diversity” in educational materials, and ensure Mexico joined the United Nations LGBTI Core Group. He also signed two legislative initiatives to enshrine marriage equality in the constitution and the federal civil code, which (since marriage is regulated at the state level) were mostly symbolic.[6] His directives, especially those pertaining same-sex marriage, faced strong opposition.

The text will focus on the discursive strategies of the two main detractors of these measures. The first is the Catholic Church, whose influence has been (albeit to varying degrees) a fixture in Mexican politics since the 16th century. The second is the National Front for the Family (Frente Nacional por la Familia, heretofore NFF or the Front), a coalition of more than a thousand civil society organizations that came together in response to the president’s LGBTI agenda. These actors’ declarations, press releases, interviews, and articles as well as an alternative legislative bill put forth by NFF member ConFamilia will be analyzed to show that, while Mexican adversaries to LGBTI equality still rely heavily on arguments related to nature, divinity, and biology, they have also come to internalize and deploy human rights discourses.

The remainder of this piece is organized as follows. Section 1 provides a brief context to situate the significance of the period under study. Section 2 discusses the way in which the Church and the NFF relied on narratives that portrayed marriage as a heterosexual—even divine— institution based on reproduction, while claiming to be on the side of “biology” versus gender ideology. Section 3 highlights the ways in which, perhaps counterintuitively but in tune with growing global trends, these actors also framed their views under human rights rhetoric. The piece then offers some conclusions.

 

1. Why 2016?

Partly owing to its federal nature,[7] Mexico has recognized LGBTI rights in a fairly gradual manner. For instance, civil unions were only first enacted in Mexico City in 2006. Same-sex marriage and adoption, facing strong opposition from then right-wing President Felipe Calderón, were also first legalized in Mexico City three years later. By May 2016, although the Supreme Court had already ruled that restricting marriage to heterosexual couples constitutes discrimination, only three additional states had recognized marriage equality in their legislation. Similarly, adoption by same-sex couples was only possible in two states. LGBTI activists systematically reported high levels of exclusion at home, in schools, in the workplace, and in public spaces.[8]

2016 marked the first time that the head of the Mexican Executive ever held a formal act to commemorate IDAHOTB. His directives and legislative bills were announced at an unprecedented live-streamed meeting that joined members of his cabinet with LGBTI activists, scholars, artists, businesspeople, and politicians. Commentators claimed the event “caused surprise across all sectors.”[9] Marriage equality quickly became the main focus of national discussion.

Even though public opinion seemed favorable at first,[10] backlash soon ensued. Catholic leaders condemned the president’s agenda in the media, in the pulpit, and in print. In addition, eight days after the commemoration, the NFF was born to “respond to President Enrique Peña Nieto’s initiative to modify the Constitution and the Civil Code to recognize unions between same-sex people.”[11] Aside from calling for the president to roll back his instructions, the Front demanded that Congress restrict marriage to one man and one woman, in accordance with an unsuccessful bill that member organization ConFamilia had introduced in February 2016. To these effects, the NFF convened mass demonstrations across the country, with open support from the Catholic hierarchy.[12] While most of the president’s instructions were followed, his bills were dismissed by Congress in November.[13]

 

2. A Defense of the “Natural” Family

A survey of the NFF’s and the Catholic Church’s discourses reveals that, in present-day Mexico, opposition to LGBTI inclusion is often based on understandings of what is “natural.” In fact, most critiques against the president’s measures were framed as a defense of the family or, more explicitly, the “natural family,” which allegedly emanates from the “natural—complementary—relationship between one man and one woman.”[14] According to this logic, marriage and the family are founded upon the “mutual compatibility” between men and women, which renders them heterosexual by definition.[15]

The reasons why the family is perceived as a “natural institution” vary depending on the actor. The Catholic clergy’s statements suggest that, for them, compatibility between men and women derives mainly from their reproductive potential. From cardinals to archbishops, religious figures highlighted men and women’s “fecundity” or capability to “transmit life”[16] and argued that “the human body is not designed for homosexual relations.”[17] These assertions replicate the general Catholic conviction that God calls upon men and women to reproduce. As Chicago scholar Mary Anne Case shows, beyond Mexico, religious figures—including the incumbent Pope—have opposed marriage equality on the grounds that it contradicts “God’s plans.”[18]

For the NFF, the compatibility at the core of the “natural family” was based not only on men and women’s reproductive potential but also on their “psychological” differences.[19] To be sure, the possibility for men and women to conceive through heterosexual intercourse was thoroughly emphasized (e.g., “two men cannot make a mother, and two women cannot make a mother”).[20] However, it was paired with a notion of biological determinism regarding the mindsets of men and women. It is interesting to note that, even though Case suggests that these kinds of assertions are the basis for “most of the Vatican’s newly preferred theological anthropology of complementarity,”[21] they did not figure in the Mexican Catholic Church’s discourse. This could owe to clergymen’s attunement with national public opinion, which has come to reject most overly sexist stereotypes.[22]

LGBTI exclusion based on conventional understandings of “nature” and “the family” is not new in Mexico. According to analysts such as Jordi Díez,[23] this mechanism can be traced back to at least 16th-century colonization, when the Catholic Church introduced natural law to Latin America. In fact, political developments have seemed to reinforce its persistence: following the region’s independence plights, for instance, the heteronormative family arguably cemented its position as the main formal unit of social organization.[24] References to nature in relation to homosexuality, however, have gradually lost centrality, especially after the emergence of medical and psychological approaches to the study of sexuality in the 19th century.[25]

Aside from references to the “natural,” the NFF and the Church also produced a discourse of the “biological.” Front representatives stressed: “biology . . . teaches us that people are born from a relationship between one man and one woman.”[26] However, the appeal to science and “basic biology” was not only another way to reference heterosexual reproductive potential—it also served as a device to draw a juxtaposition between the NFF’s and the Church’s understandings of marriage and family on the one hand and gender ideology on the other.[27]

While it remains challenging to succinctly define what gender ideology entails, Case contends that early-1980s writings of Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) delineate its basic elements, which could be summarized in a denunciation against “the trivialization of sexual specificity that makes every role interchangeable between man and woman.”[28] The idea is, then, to “reaffirm heteropatriarchal conceptions of sex, gender, and sexuality.”[29] Conservative and religious leaders have publicly rejected gender ideology since at least the 1990s, after various UN conferences led to breakthroughs in the international plight for gender equality.[30] 2016 offered the first venue for this ill-defined notion to become part of Mexican mainstream discourse. For instance, Mexico City’s archdiocese published materials advising parents to push back against gender ideology,[31] while the Front positioned itself against “social experiments” based on it.[32]

 

3. The Rights of the Right

While it may seem unusual, apart from well-established notions about sexuality, the family, and reproduction, Catholic clergymen and the NFF also resorted to human rights rhetoric to resist LGBTI inclusion. As will be shown below, they deployed this framing to push back against any mention of “diversity” in educational materials, defend themselves from perceived attacks against their freedom of religion and expression, and contend that marriage equality is not a right.

As to educational materials, Mexican opponents to the president’s instructions claimed (heterosexual) parents had a right to teach their children their own values. The president’s agenda was denounced as a “[push] for the State to overtake parent’s formative functions,”[33] which infringed, according to the Church, on a “natural right . . . not given to us by the State.”[34]

Arguments to shield children and their “innocence” from other moral orientations, particularly with regard to sexuality, have been put forward by conservative organizations globally to oppose a variety of developments, from the appearance of diversity in popular media to changes in sexual-education pedagogies.[35] In the Mexican case, the insistence that “it is a parent’s right to determine what knowledge their children should have and when they should receive it”[36] was mostly deployed in relation to gender ideology, which was thought to manifest itself in all attempts to portray LGBTI individuals (and their “unions”) as equal to non-LGBTI citizens (and their marriages). Scholars have underlined the ways in which the insistence on “protecting children” and the emphasis on paternal authority over the types of content infants should be exposed to reinforce tropes about childhood as a pure, naive, asexual, even sacrosanct stage of human development.[37] Especially in cases like Mexico, where the focus is on educational materials, this could be considered a form of surveillance, as well as of individual control, that works to the benefit of adult’s interests instead of children’s rights.[38]

As to religious freedoms, opponents to LGBTI equality posited that the president’s measures were a way to impose the “radical agenda” of the “gay lobby” on everyone, including Catholics.[39] The implication was that LGBTI inclusion was at odds with other individuals’ rights in a zero-sum dynamic.

While opponents to LGBTI equality around the world have certainly appealed to religious freedoms, they have done so with radically different purposes. During the United Kingdom debates on the Equality Act 2010, for instance, members of parliament (MPs) with a history of voting against LGBTI inclusion on faith-based grounds evoked this logic to favor the removal of prohibitions around registering same-sex civil partnerships in religious premises. In their view, as Johnson and Vanderbeck relate, while it was foreseeable that not many churches would desire to hold ceremonies for homosexual couples, they should all be entitled to decide for themselves instead of having the State decide for them.[40] In Mexico, since legal recognition of same-sex marriage bears no implications for religious (or secular) heterosexual ceremonies, claims of this nature seem more exclusively grounded on ideational concerns.

Also related to religious freedoms, and especially after facing criticism for their statements—or in the case of the Church, for its involvement in policy debates overall—clergymen and the NFF argued that their voice was legitimate on the grounds of freedom of expression. On one hand, once they had held demonstrations across the country, the Front partly characterized them as a call for freedom of speech.[41] On the other hand, Mexico City’s archbishop continuously defended his statements against the president’s measures on the grounds that modern democratic societies had “to be open to a debate of ideas between different points of view.”[42] He also decried that, especially within marriage-equality debates, opposition was deemed homophobic and allegedly met with “repeated mocking, persecution, insults and threats.”[43] This, the archbishop said, was a roadblock to fruitful dialogue.

While global debates on whether discriminatory ideas are protected by freedom of speech are still ongoing, it is increasingly clear that censorship should not figure in states’ policies.[44] Still, while the NFF’s right to publicly defend its ideas can be more easily deemed legitimate (since it comprises civil society organizations), the Church’s involvement should be evaluated in light of three facts. First, with its almost 90 dioceses and archdioceses, each with countless pulpits and sometimes even publications, the Catholic Church has considerable reach and echo—probably much more so than all Mexican LGBTI organizations combined. Second, no available data seem to suggest that 2016 witnessed any increase in any sort of persecution against religious individuals or figures. And third, for historical political reasons, religious organizations have long been legally forbidden from publicly opposing Mexican laws, regulations, or institutions,[45] yet the Church was never penalized for its continuous statements on President Peña Nieto’s directives.[46] It would thus be difficult to argue that its freedom of expression was curtailed.

Finally, the NFF and the Catholic hierarchy not only posed their own interests as a matter of human rights, they also actively questioned whether LGBTI inclusion was a right at all. Especially in the case of marriage, they insisted that advocating for exclusion was only a matter of conceptual rigor. For the Church, the federal government sought to recognize “false rights”[47] because “President Enrique Peña Nieto and the Supreme Court of Justice ha[d] made a serious mistake in their interpretation of what marriage is and on what discrimination means.”[48] Meanwhile, the NFF exhorted same-sex couples to create their own legal figures,[49] accusing proponents of marriage equality—federal authorities included—of trying to “invent” non-existent rights.[50]

The previous logic relied on detractors’ understandings of marriage and the family as purely heterosexual institutions (as noted above). Indeed, their willingness to concede same-sex couples’ access to other forms of civil unions suggests that one of their main concerns was the symbolic importance of marriage, which several individuals and organizations around the world seem to share. In their study of New York City Christian evangelicalism, for example, Andersson et al. showed that certain evangelicals who opposed marriage equality seemed more concerned with “maintaining a symbolic form of classification” than with withholding access to marriage-related prerogatives.[51] However, the authors also noted that other evangelicals drew distinctions between their own religious convictions and the realm of civil rights, agreeing with marriage equality despite their own “theological reservations.” None of the discourses by Mexican opponents to LGBTI equality echoed the latter logic; on the contrary, the Church and the Front even misleadingly referenced rulings by the European Court of Human Rights that allegedly concluded same-sex marriage is not a right.[52]

It should be clear that, in framing their opposition under a human rights logic, the NFF and the Church joined a growing trend that scholars seldom recognize. Indeed, academics have long described and analyzed the implications of LGBTI activists—in Mexico and elsewhere—adopting a human rights discourse.[53] However, they seem to mostly assume that this narrative is exclusive to progressive, counter-hegemonic voices and narratives.[54] As this article and other sources show,[55] several conservative forces seem to have overcome their initial skepticism about human rights narratives and deftly deploy it today.

 

Conclusions

This paper has analyzed the main discourses deployed by detractors of LGBTI inclusion in Mexico after May 2016. It has shown that while civil organizations and Catholic figures played upon existing narratives about sexuality and sought to defend the “natural family” against gender ideology, they also crafted a human rights narrative to frame their claims.

Several lessons derive from this study:

  1. As relates to academia, it is fundamental that studies on backlash against LGBTI equality closely consider the discursive consequences of policy debates, recognizing that a growing number of actors deftly articulate conservative views in the language of human rights.
  2. As relates to LGBTI-rights activists and their allies, it is important to work on narratives that dismantle the assumptions—so naturalized in societies like Mexico—that underlie the defense of “the family” and “biology” from gender ideology. Conservative claims for human rights must be swiftly contested; otherwise, the Right could almost inadvertently “pass the Left.”[56]
  3. As relates to government, it is necessary for public officials to be able to provide solid arguments that boost legislative and policy changes for LGBTI equality. It is also crucial that, while avoiding censorship, institutions create platforms for LGBTI-rights defenders to counter the discourses of their better-funded, more powerful counterparts. Otherwise, hegemonic narratives will prevail.

 

Author Biography: 

Roberto Zedillo Ortega is a Chevening & Cambridge Trust scholar studying for a master of philosophy in sociology at Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge. In 2015, he graduated top of his class from Mexico City’s Centre for Research and Teaching in Economics with a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations. He has collaborated in evaluation projects on Mexican social policy, and his research about individual attitudes toward LGBTI-inclusive policies has been recognized and published by the Mexican Chamber of Deputies. He has also assisted in studies on LGBTI exclusion in the workplace and recently co-authored the book Reconstruir con inclusión: Desastres naturales y no discriminación (Inclusive Reconstruction: Natural Disasters and Non-discrimination), published by the Belisario Domínguez Institute at the Mexican Senate. From 2016 to 2018, he served as an advisor to the head of the National Council for the Prevention of Discrimination, Mexico’s federal institution tasked with anti-discrimination policy.

 

Photo by Jorge Aguilar on Unsplash

References:

[1] The author wishes to thank the editors of the journal, as well as Marcin Smietana, Sarah Franklin, and particularly Robert Pralat, for their very helpful comments on earlier versions of this article.

[2] The LGBTI acronym refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex persons. I use this term following regional standards set forth by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; see Violence against LBGTI Persons in the Americas (Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and Organization of American States, 12 November 2015) [PDF file].

[3] For instance, in the United States, Stoutenborough, Haider-Markel, and Allen have shown that Supreme Court rulings such as Bowers v. Hardwick (1986) and Lawrence v. Texas (2003) have been followed by greater opposition to same-sex marriage, although certain characteristics (e.g., the prominence of equality debates in the media) mediate the magnitude of these effects. See James W. Stoutenborough, Donald P. Haider-Markel, and Mahalley D. Allen, “Reassessing the Impact of Supreme Court Decisions on Public Opinion: Gay Civil Rights Cases,” Political Research Quarterly 59, no. 3 (2006): 419–33.

[4] “Latin America’s battle over ‘gender ideology,’” The Economist, 30 September 2017, https://www.economist.com/the-americas/2017/09/30/latin-americas-battle-over-gender-ideology.

[5] See, for example, Gloria Careaga-Pérez, “Moral Panic and Gender Ideology in Latin America,” Religion & Gender 6, no. 2 (2016), 251–5.

[6] It must be noted, however, that modifying the Federal Civil Code would benefit any of the 12 million Mexican citizens abroad who might want to get married to a same-sex partner under Mexican law. See “Mexicanos en el Mundo,” Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, 9 May 2017, http://www.ime.gob.mx/gob/estadisticas/2016/mundo/estadistica_poblacion.html.

[7] Mexico comprises 31 states plus Mexico City. As mentioned above, a variety of issues, including marriage and adoption, are regulated at the state level.

[8] Some civil society reports on the matter include Juan Carlos Mendoza Pérez and Luis Ortiz Hernåndez, “Principales Resultados del Diagnóstico Situacional de las Personas LGBTIQ de México 2015” (technical report, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2015), https://www.researchgate.net/publication/308346510_Principales_Resultados_del_Diagnostico_situacional_de_personas_lesbianas_gays_bisexuales_transgenero_travestis_transexuales_intersexuales_y_queers_de_Mexico_2015_Primera_parte; and Investigación sobre atención a personas LGBT en México: Resumen Ejecutivo (Comisión Ejecutiva de Atención a Víctimas and Fundación Arcoiris, 2016) [PDF file]. The National Council for the Prevention of Discrimination and the National Commission of Human Rights recently published the results of the first National Survey on Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, which shows that LGBTI exclusion remains widespread; see Instituto Nacional de Desarrollo Social, Encuesta sobre Discriminación por motivos de Orientación Sexual e Identidad de Género 2018 (Consejo Nacional para Prevenir la Discrminación and Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos, 2018) [PDF file].

[9] Ricardo Baruch D., “¿Y los compromisos con la población LGBTI?,” Animal Político (blog) 8 May 2017, https://www.animalpolitico.com/blogueros-blog-invitado/2017/05/08/paso-los-compromisos-la-poblacion-lgbti/.

[10] In the first weeks following May 2016, almost all of the articles and opinion columns on the subject in major newspapers and electronic media supported the president’s measures. It should be noted, however, that some LGBTI activists regarded them as an attempt to pink-wash a “government marked by human rights violations.” See H. Gloria Virginia Davenport, “El lavado rosa del Presidente (Manual para domesticar un acroiris),” Desde Abajo (blog), 2 June 2016, http://www.desdeabajo.org.mx/wordpress/el-lavado-rosa-del-presidente-manual-para-domesticar-un-arcoiris/.

[11] Nace Frente Nacional por la Familia y exigen se apruebe reforma al Artículo 4 impulsada por ConFamilia (press release, Frente Nacional por la Familia, 2016) [PDF file].

[12] “Respaldo al Frente Nacional por la Familia,” press reléase, Conferencia del Episcopado Mexicano, 16 August 2016, http://www.cem.org.mx/prensa/879-respaldo-al-frente-nacional-por-la-familia-cem-jovenes-vida.html.

[13] Redacción Animal Político, 2016. “Diputados del PAN, PRI y Verde rechazan la iniciativa de Peña Nieto sobre matrimonio igualitario,” Animal Político (blog), 9 November 2016, https://www.animalpolitico.com/2016/11/diputados-matrimonio-igualitario/.

[14] Reforma por la Familia, por los Niños y por Todos (Consejo Mexicano de la Familia to Sen. Roberto Gil Zuarth, 23 February 2016), 46 [PDF file]; Nace Frente Nacional por la Familia y exigen se apruebe reforma al Artículo 4 impulsada por ConFamilia.

[15] Fredy Martín Pérez, “Cada quien es libre para vivir su sexualidad: obispo Arizmendi,” El Universal, 25 September 2016, http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/articulo/estados/2016/09/25/cada-quien-es-libre-para-vivir-su-sexualidad-obispo-arizmendi.

[16] See, for example, Silvia Ayala, “Preocupa a Iglesia adopción de parejas gay,” Milenio, 20 May 2016, http://www.milenio.com/region/Arzobispo_de_Durango-Jose_Antonio_Fernandez-matrimonio_igualitario-Pena_Nieto_0_740926131.html; Redacción ABC, “‘Tornillo va con tuerca, no con tornillo’: Cardenal de Morelia,” Periódico ABC, 20 May 2016, https://www.abcnoticias.mx/tornillo-va-con-tuerca-no-con-tornillo-cardenal-de-morelia/51178.

[17] Sanjuana Martínez, “El ano, según el cardenal Norberto Rivera,” Sin Embargo, 1 August 2016, https://www.sinembargo.mx/01-08-2016/3074174.

[18] Mary Anne Case, “Trans Formations in the Vatican’s War on ‘Gender Ideology’,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 44, no. 3 (2019): 650.

[19] Reforma por la Familia, por los Niños y por Todos, 56.

[20] Reforma por la Familia, por los Niños y por Todos, 49.

[21] Case, “Trans Formations in the Vatican’s War on ‘Gender Ideology’,” 655.

[22] Paula Montenegro, Encuesta Nacional sobre Discriminación en México, Enadis 2010: Resultados sobre mujeres (México, DF: Consejo Nacional para Prevenir la Discriminación, 2012) [PDF file]; Paula Leite and Adrián Meza Holguin, Encuesta Nacional sobre Discriminación 2017: Prontuario de resultados (Ciudad de México: Consejo Nacional para Prevenir la Discriminación, October 2018) [PDF file].

[23] Jordi Díez, The Politics of Gay Marriage in Latin America: Argentina, Chile, and Mexico (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2016).

[24] Díez, The Politics of Gay Marriage in Latin America: Argentina, Chile, and Mexico, 34.

[25] Díez, The Politics of Gay Marriage in Latin America: Argentina, Chile, 29–35.

[26] Astrid Rivera, “Matrimonio gay, un ‘falso derecho’: Arquidiócesis, El Universal, 14 August 2016, https://www.eluniversal.com.mx/articulo/nacion/sociedad/2016/08/14/matrimonio-gay-un-falso-derecho-arquidiocesis.

[27] Siobhan Guerrero Mc Manus, S”La ciencia según el Frente Nacional por la Familia,” Animal Político (blog), 28 September 2016, https://www.animalpolitico.com/blogueros-intersexiones/2016/09/28/ciencia-segun-frente-nacional-la-familia/.

[28] Benedict XVI [Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger] and Vittorio Messori, The Ratzinger Report: An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Church (San Francisco: Ignatius, 1985); cited in Case, “Trans Formations in the Vatican’s War on ‘Gender Ideology’,” 646.

[29] Elizabeth S. Corredor, “Unpacking ‘Gender Ideology’ and the Global Right’s Antigender Countermovement,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 44, no. 3 (2019): 616.

[30] Careaga-Pérez, “Moral Panic and Gender Ideology in Latin America”; William Mauricio Beltrán and Sian Creely, “Pentecostals, Gender Ideology and the Peace Plebiscite: Colombia 2016,” Religions 9, no. 12 (2018): 418.

[31] Astrid Rivera, “Iglesia: matrimonio gay afecta a la sociedad,” El Universal, 8 August 2016, https://www.eluniversal.com.mx/articulo/nacion/politica/2016/08/8/iglesia-matrimonio-gay-afecta-la-sociedad.

[32] EFE, “Familia no es un laboratorio, reiteran organizaciones,” Milenio, 7 September 2016, http://www.milenio.com/politica/familia-no-es-un-laboratorio-reiteran-organizaciones.

[33] Nace Frente Nacional por la Familia y exigen se apruebe reforma al Artículo 4 impulsada por ConFamilia.

[34] Rivera, “Iglesia.”

[35] See Steven Angelides, “‘The Continuing Homosexual Offensive: Sex Education, Gay Rights and Homosexual Recruitment,” in Homophobia: An Australian History, ed. Shirleene Robinson (Sydney: The Federation Press, 2008), 172–92.

[36] Kerry Robinson, “In the Name of ‘Childhood Innocence’: A Discursive Exploration of the Moral Panic Associated with Childhood and Sexuality,” Cultural Studies Review 14, no. 2 (2008): 120.

[37] See Robinson, “In the Name of ‘Childhood Innocence.”

[38] Kerry H. Robinson, “‘Difficult citizenship’: The precarious relationships between childhood, sexuality and access to knowledge,” Sexualities 15, nos. 3–4 (2012): 257–76.

[39] Nace Frente Nacional por la Familia y exigen se apruebe reforma al Artículo 4 impulsada por ConFamilia.

[40] Paul Johnson and Robert M. Vanderbeck, “Sacred Spaces, Sacred Words: Religion and Same-sex Marriage in England and Wales,” Journal of Law and Society 44, no. 2 (2017): 228–54.

[41] Redacción Excelsior, “Marchan en 31 estados en defensa de la familia,” Excelsior, 11 September 2016, https://www.excelsior.com.mx/nacional/2016/09/11/1116233.

[42] J.C. Ponce, “Norberto Rivera pide respeto y tolerancia a posturas católicas,” Excelsior, 19 June 2016, https://www.excelsior.com.mx/nacional/2016/06/19/1099778.

[43] Rivera, “Iglesia.”

[44] For a summary by Mexico’s federal agency for anti-discrimination policy, see Criterio orientador de actuación para que el Consejo Nacional para Prevenir la Discriminación emita medidas cautelares (Consejo Nacional para Prevenir la Discriminación, n.d.), anexo III [PDF file].

[45] See Ley de Asociaciones Religiosas y Culto Público de 1992, UR DOF 17-12-2015, Cámara de Diputados del H. Congreso de la Unión (1992).

[46] Although not the matter of this article, it should be noted that, in addition to their public statements about the president’s policies and proposed legislation, Catholic clergymen made veiled calls to vote against his party—and all others that supported his bills—in upcoming elections. Advocating for or against any political candidate and/or party is also forbidden for religious organizations by law.

[47] Astrid Rivera, “Iniciativa de bodas gay, ‘grave equívoco’: Arquidiócesis,” El Universal, 22 May 2016, http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/articulo/nacion/sociedad/2016/05/22/iniciativa-de-bodas-gay-grave-equivoco-arquidiocesis.

[48] Rivera, “Matrimonio gay, un ‘falso derecho’.”

[49] “Asociaciones civiles yucatecas reiteran su oposición al matrimonio igualitario,” Libertad de Expresión Yucatán, 25 May 2016, http://www.informaciondelonuevo.com/2016/05/asociaciones-civiles-yucatecas-reiteran.html.

[50] “Participación de Juan Dabdoub en el programa Hoy de Televisa,” YouTube video, posted by Consejo Mexicano de la Familia, 8 July 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyaY06v4Dno.

[51] Johan Andersson et al., “Same sex marriage, civil rights rhetoric, and the ambivalent politics of Christian evangelicalism in New York City,” Sexualities 16, no. 3–4 (2013): 253.

[52] Reforma por la Familia, por los Niños y por Todos; Rivera, “Matrimonio gay, un ‘falso derecho’.”

[53] See, for example, Kelly Kollman, and Matthew Waites, “The global politics of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender human rights: an introduction,” Contemporary Politics 15, no. 1 (2009): 1–17.

[54] For a critique, see Nicola Perugini and Neve Gordon, The Human Right to Dominate (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).

[55] Clifford Bob, The Global Right Wing and the Clash of World Politics (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2012); Kevin Crow, “How US evangelical organizations deploy ‘human rights’ and ‘development’,” Open Democracy (blog) 26 June 2018, https://www.opendemocracy.net/kevin-crow/how-us-evangelical-organizations-deploy-human-rights-and-development; Eran Shor, “Utilizing Rights and Wrongs: Right-Wing, the ‘Right’ Language, and Human Rights in the Gaza Disengagement,” Sociological Perspectives 51, no. 4 (2008): 803–26.

[56] Sandra Barba, “La derecha nos rebasa por la izquierda,” Letras Libres, no. 233, published online 1 May 2018, https://www.letraslibres.com/mexico/revista/la-derecha-nos-rebasa-por-la-izquierda.