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‘Historic’ reforms to moral code applauded

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City Council approved at its March 6, 2006 meeting proposals that put Mérida at the forefront of laws that recognize sexual diversity. Photo: City of Mérida
City Council approved at its March 6, 2006 meeting proposals that put Mérida at the forefront of laws that recognize sexual diversity. Photo: City of Mérida

Mérida, Yucatán — A series of amendments will safeguard the rights of vulnerable minority groups such gay or transgender people in the city. The measures passed unanimously in a special City Council session this week.

The special session of the council was called lauded by the rights group Libertad De Expresión Yucatán.

The municipal Police & Good Government Regulations code has historically cited support for “morals and good traditions,” which implied a narrow view of the law. A same-sex couple could be arrested, for example, for a public display of affection.

That clause has been replaced with working that puts demands authorities consider “the dignity and the human rights of the persons affected.”

The amendments are designed to protect and guarantee human rights, equality and non-discrimination by ethnicity or nationality, gender, age, disability, social status, health, religion, opinions, sexual orientation or marital status.

“This is a huge, historic and transcendental thing,” said Dr. Carlos Cabrera, head of Fundación BAI A.C., which was among the groups that lobbied for the reforms for several months.

Now it is left to the city to enforce the amendments.

“The reforms enhance protection to all the vulnerable groups in our city,” said Dr. Cabrera, adding that this was a collective effort of the Municipal Council against discrimination against sexual diversity.

Diario de Yucatán reported the story with the headine: “Mérida, on the vanguard of respect for human rights.”


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