World Economic Forum

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Common stereotypes about Mexico’s macho culture might lead us to expect that the legal landscape for gay rights in Mexico would be far less egalitarian than in the United States. Major theories of comparative politics about the influence of social movements, religion, and the left would also predict more equal legal treatment of sexual minorities in the United States than in Mexico. Yet, our review of important gay rights legislation in the two countries shows the opposite. Mexico abolished most discriminatory legal distinctions based on sexual orientation long before the United States. Mexico decriminalised sodomy in 1871, more than 100 years before the US Supreme Court overturned anti-sodomy laws in 2003. The lone legal discriminatory point in Mexican law was a double penalty for corruption of a minor if it involved homosexuality. This provision was changed in 1998. The United States has no national antidiscrimination laws to protect LGBT people.

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