lgbt+ rights in Mexico

With the brief French occupation of Mexico in the mid-1860’s and the subsequent adoption of the Napoleonic Code, homosexual sex was decriminalized in Mexico all the way back in 1871. Today, Mexico is fabulously one of thirty countries where same-sex marriage is legal and one of seven, including the United States, to do so nationally by court decisions.

Upon closer inspection, however, progress towards marriage equality in Mexico is more complicated. Mexico City was actually the first to legalize gay marriage in 2009 with the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, home to Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum, following in 2011. After the Mexican Supreme Court ruled to change the legal definition of marriage to include same-sex couples in 2015, not all states have enacted marriage equality to date, forcing some same-sex couples to jump through legal hoops to obtain their marriage license. 

In recent years, however, Mexico has continued to make strides to advance LGBT+ rights. Anti-discrimination laws in employment (and all other areas) were enacted in 2003, and the Mexican Supreme Court issued a similar ruling to marriage equality to same-sex adoption in 2016. 

With respect to other LGBT+ rights, men who have sex with men can donate blood in Mexico, transgender individuals can change their legal gender (like marriage equality, pending in all states), and although there is no law or policy preventing homosexuals or bisexuals from serving in the military, they may be unfortunately harassed if outed.

As attitudes change with increasing foreign and domestic influences from cosmopolitan areas, Mexico continues to evolve with respect to LGBT+ rights. In addition, Mexico remains a super popular LGBT-friendly travel destination, especially Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, Zipolite, and Tulum among many others. Check out our posts below for more on these and other amazing gay travel destinations in Gay Mexico!


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