Nearly a thousand people marched in Mérida’s street Saturday to promote Yucatán’s sexual and gender diversity.
Rainy skies didn’t dampen the Marcha de la Diversidad Sexual, on hold in 2020 under coronavirus restrictions.
While COVID-19 infections are rising dramatically in Yucatán, most participants wore face masks and stayed outdoors.
The group first gathered at La Mejorada park before taking to the rain-soaked streets and heading to the government palace on the Plaza Grande.
Gray skies made the hues of the rainbow banners all the brighter. Many marchers were also brightly dressed, some in drag, making a bold statement in this socially reserved, conservative, largely Catholic city.
The push for marriage equality, fair employment practices and adoption rights continue to energize activists. Yucatán’s lawmakers have consistently stalled gay-marriage laws that the Supreme Court has mandated.
Many merchants in the city played along, selling all kinds of articles alluding to LGBTQ+ pride, something that is celebrated around the world every June. Some told local media that they did well in sales.
Shortly before arriving at their destination, rain threatened to fall again on the Yucatecan capital and part of the contingent chose to take refuge in the Pasaje de la Revolución. When the skies cleared, little by little they took over the Plaza Grande.
Alfredo Candiani, an event organizer, hailed 2021 as a historic year for gay rights in Yucatán, where 12 other municipalities signed initiatives in favor of LGBTQ+ rights.