Guadalajara adopts more lenient public sex law

The city of Guadalajara, one of the most conservative LGBT cities in Mexico, has passed a new more lenient resolution on pubic sex certainly impacting gay public display of affection .  Public sex and committing acts of exhibitionism in Guadalajara will only be prosecuted if a formal complaint is filed before authorities. Now municipal police will have to show there was a citizen’s complaint and the case will be decided by a judge. According to city authorities rather than promoting public sex, the new rule was created to prevent municipal police officers from bribery and extortion from public sex acts as many say never reach the judicial system.  The changes were made in on the grounds that the police should focus on combating crime and not bother those who may lack the financial resources to pay for a hotel for the display of affection in public. 

Mexico has come a long way in a country where public display of affection is common. The controversy in February 2009 when word spread that the city of Guanajuato’s City Council leaders had issued an edict: Kissing in public was forbidden. Violators would be punished. The news set off a storm over smooching that, weeks later, still has tongues wagging in picturesque Guanajuato, a mining town in central Mexico — and reveals a lot about the ways of Mexico, where you don’t need to get a room to express your love for each other. Like any good Valentine’s Day story, this one ends with a kiss. The outcry was swift. Protesters gathered in front of City Hall to kiss en masse. The news media got into the act, and pretty soon Romero and his city were at the center of an unflattering national controversy. The mayor announced within days that the measure would be suspended. All of Mexico seemed ready to take to the ramparts in defense of a treasured institution: the kiss.

“The attitude toward kissing is a good thermometer of the tolerance of a society,” columnist Federico Reyes Heroles wrote in the Reforma newspaper. Compared with the United States, Mexico is a very smoochy place. Mexicans of all stripes kiss each other on the cheek when saying hello and goodbye. Children and parents slobber over each other with abandon. Even strangers merit a kiss; Americans might be taken aback by the Mexican custom of kissing someone on the cheek when being introduced. He said trying to limit public kissing was like outlawing miniskirts — the stuff of totalitarian countries. “Eros is part of life,” he wrote.

To read the Guadalajara article in Spanish go here 

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