While we are pretty familiar with some of our own city leaders who are openly gay here in the United States, Mexico is making some history by electing it’s first gay mayor. Joe Jervis, of the blog Joe. My. God. on the Associated Press story of Benjamin Medrano. The 47-year-old singer and gay bar owner is mayor-elect in a rough part of Mexico that has had a serious problem with drugs and corrupt law enforcement; issues that Medrano ran on during his campaign. This and his visibility as a singer and gay bar owner was part of what helped Medrano achieve victory. From The Associated Press:
In recent years, a drug turf war has raged around Fresnillo, and bodies have been found hacked to bits, others with their throats slit, some decapitated, some stuffed in wells or shallow graves. Medrano campaigned on a strong public-safety platform, advocating cooperation with state and federal police, and vetting and background checks on the notoriously corrupt local police force.
“I’m not at risk, because I don’t have any relationship with any of the groups,” Medrano said Thursday, referring to the two drug cartels — the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel — that are fighting for control of Fresnillo, a city of 230,000 that has the misfortune to sit on some of the main trafficking routes in northern Mexico.
“Of course, I have the same fear that anybody who lives in Fresnillo has,” Medrano said.
Several factors help explain his victory in this machista region.
First is that Medrano is a singer, and the owner of a gay bar for 18 years. Singing is one of the areas where Mexico has readily accepted gays.
“Given that I’m a singer, people know that aspect of me,” Medrano said.
The other factor is the way Medrano handles the political aspects of gay issues.
He has attended gay rights marches, but he doesn’t campaign on gay rights, and in fact doesn’t agree with many of the movement’s main demands.
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