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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 21 - Volume 42 Issue 47
Mexico City OKs gender changes without court order
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Mexico City OKs gender changes without court order

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Mexico City has approved legislation to allow Transgender residents to change the gender markers on their legal documents at will, without a special court order.

The Legislative Assembly of the Federal District (ALDF) - the equivalent of Mexico City's city council - passed the measure November 13, with 42 votes in favor and 6 abstentions.

The bill was proposed by Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera on the recommendation of the assembly's Commission for Attention to Vulnerable Groups.

'The ALDF complies with constitutional reform to ensure the observance of the fundamental rights of the people, by not allowing discriminatory acts or conduct,' Mancera said.

Jorge Zepeda Cruz, president of the commission, called the legal changes 'inevitable.'

Like the United States, Mexico is organized on a federal system, with laws governing gender assignment regulated by the states. In other areas of Mexico, Trans people can get their legal documents changed only after a court order.

Mexico passed the 'Federal Law to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination' in 2003, but the law prohibits only discrimination on the basis 'sexual preferences' and not gender identity or expression. Trans Mexicans are protected indirectly by the prohibition against 'promoting or indulging in physical or psychological abuse based on physical appearance or dress, talk, mannerisms or for openly acknowledging one's sexual preferences.'

Mexico City's ALDF is dominated by the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), which also pushed for marriage equality legislation in 2009. Under PRD leadership, the capital city is also the most LGBT-friendly city in the country. In July 12,000 people turned out for the annual Pride march, which has taken place every year since 1979. There were reportedly half a million spectators.

On the other hand, Mexico has been described as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for Transgender people. In fact, the majority of the country's hate crime victims are reportedly Trans women.

Activists report Trans people being stripped, tortured, mutilated, and beheaded. Often these crimes are not investigated by police, who say their hands are tied because the victim's physical appearance does not match their ID photos and the legal names that appear on their documents.

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Mexico City OKs gender changes without court order
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