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Mexican lawmaker proposes giving transsexuals constitutional protection

Mexican lawmaker proposes giving transsexuals constitutional protection

A Mexican congressman said Thursday he will submit a bill in March that would amend the country's constitution to guarantee the rights of transsexuals and change civil laws to ensure they can legally change their name and gender.
David Sanchez Camacho's bill would insert a paragraph into Article Four of the Mexican Constitution stating that "every person has the right to the recognition and free exercise of their gender identity and their gender expression."
Article Four currently guarantees equal rights for women and men and states the rights of children and families, but it does not mention homosexuals or transsexuals. A transsexual is a person who has undergone a sex change operation or whose sexual identification is with the opposite sex.
Changes to the constitution need approval from two-thirds of both houses of Congress and two-thirds majorities in at least 16 of the 31 state legislatures.
Transsexual activists said they hope other countries will present similar proposals.
"We are interested in supporting Mexico so that it becomes the first country in Latin America to have a proposed law on the rights of transsexuals," said Gloria Davenport, of the Latin American network of transsexual activists.
While some local laws in Mexico establish the right to change personal data _ including names and gender _ in official registries, Davenport said it is often impossible in practice.
"The civil registry officials themselves block us," said Davenport, who was born a man and underwent hormone therapy several years ago.
She said many transsexuals in Mexico are forced to earn a living as prostitutes because they cannot find other employment, often because they have no legal proof of gender and name identities.
Sanchez Camacho said he had the support of his leftist Democratic Revolution Party, which holds only about one-quarter of the seats in the lower house.
Natalia Anaya, a transsexual activist, said she supported the proposed law to end the discriminatory pressures she faces on the job.
"I have a job, but I have to perform a balancing act to hold on it, because of the harassment," Anaya said. "They want me to cut my hair, cut my nails, dress a certain way."


Updated : 2021-07-30 16:49 GMT+08:00