Mexico’s 1st gay mayor elected in rough northern state known for machismo, drug violence

gay pride flagThe Washington Post, 7/18/2013

Mexico’s first openly gay elected mayor is set to take office in a rough part of Zacatecas state known for cowboy boots, embossed belts and drug gang shootouts. Benjamin Medrano, a 47-year-old singer and gay bar-owner, says he is proud to be openly gay and rights groups say his victory in the city of Fresnillo’s July 7 election marks a significant point in the fight for gay rights.

They add that it is too early yet to declare victory and Medrano, who takes office in September, acknowledges that he was the target of a malicious phone-calling campaign in which his political rivals “tried to smear me, as if being gay were a crime.” Zacatecas is a largely rural state with a reputation for cowboy hats and macho swagger, one of last places in Mexico that seemed likely to elect a gay mayor.

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