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Don’t frighten the horses: Colima

3 September 2013

My dear, I don’t care what they do, so long as they

don’t do it in the street and frighten the horses.       

(British actress, Mrs. Patrick Campbell)

I know this is old hat to most people, but some English-speakers still have a problem understanding that a “Socialist” is not necessarily a “liberal”.

While “Liberalism”, especially in the United States, has come to signify to their opponents a rejection of “traditional values”, as a poltical/economic theory, as its used in Latin America (and most of the world) “liberals” are just old fashioned laissez.faire capitalists, and any skepticism for “traditional values”… or slightly more positively, “tolerance”, is more a matter of policy. If Spaniards wanted to do business with the English (or vice-versa), the traditional values of killing each other as heretics had to be put aside.

Socialism, of course, has more concern with social class and community than the individualism assumed by Liberalism. Despite the Socialists generally being the ones in this country upholding the rights of minorities, and the ones most skeptical of “traditional values” — especially when those traditional values are used to oppress minorities — there are exceptions.

I wrote not long ago on the tricky way the State Legislature of Colima avoided that state being the next to legalize same-sex marriage. Faced with the prospect of losing a federal lawsuit that would overturn a “one man-one woman” law, which would have been upheld by the Supreme Court (and… with the Supremes already having ruled that one man-one woman marriage laws were unconstitutional in other state cases, would have been the a key ruling in making same-sex marriage legal throughout the republic),  the Colima legislature created a “judicial form” called the enlace conyugal (marital bond) which supposedly

provides “the same rights and obligations in regulatory law, including inheritance and social security law [as a marriage]…

but

While the Supreme Court decided in August 2010 that a marriage (or “free union”) in a state which allows same-gender marriages is valid everywhere in the Republic, there is no guarantee that an enlace conyugal will be valid anywhere outside Colima, or that persons entering into an enlace will be covered by federal law.

Although leaders of the two main Socialist parties (PRD and Morena) both offered their assistance in overturning the bill, and in bringing forward a lawsuit to make same-sex marriage a legal reality in Colima, same-sex couples needed at least some recognition of their relationships:   at least 28 couples have entered into “enlaces conyugales” — and another 20 couples have applied for a license — in the  Municipio of Cuauhtémoc alone.

Which has resulted in PRD Deputy Rafael Mendoza Godínez being another State Legislator one must single out for complete dickishness.

Deputy Mendoza, sent a letter to Muncipal President to complain about the local Registrar Civil (the administrative judge who performs marriages in Mexico — and,  in Colima, “”enlaces conyugales”) not because the Judge isn’t doing her job… but because she is doing her job in public.

Unfrightened horses in the Muncipio de Cuauhtémoc

Making the very strange argument that “Mothers have expressed their concern that children witnessing public ceremonies between persons of the same sex might alter their perception of their relationship to their parents” the Deputy wants the Municipal President to have the legal ceremonies performed only in private, behind closed doors:  presumably in a closet.

For the children.

The Deputy claims he is “only the voice of the people”, and that his constituents aren’t ready for the sight of somebody else getting … well, not married, but at least forming a “marital bond”.  But with  48 of his constituents, even in a “traditional” kind of place like Cuauhtémoc … where the mainstay of the economy is farming, the local arts scene is mariachi music, and having its only historical significance as a former stronghold of the Cristeros …  getting “bonded”, he’s not exactly standing up for solidarity with the masses… not at all liberal, and complaining about  public celebrations… rather unsocial I’d say.

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