Strengthening LGBTQ Immigrant Resources

//Strengthening LGBTQ Immigrant Resources

Strengthening LGBTQ Immigrant Resources

November 2017: Despite divisive rhetoric and actions against immigrants and LGBTQ people coming
out of the U.S. Capitol, local leaders are finding ways to bring diverse communities
together.

On November 17, Sacramento LGBT Community Center Executive Director, David
Heitstuman and Lilián Ferrer, Consul General of Mexico in Sacramento signed a
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), laying the foundation for collaboration to
reach one very important goal – strengthening the protection and promotion of the
rights and interests of LGBT Mexicans in the Sacramento region.

During the ceremony, Center Executive Director David Heitstuman stated “The
Center is pleased to partner with the Consulate of Mexico in Sacramento to increase
understanding and inclusiveness in the services we each provide to LGBTQ Mexican
nationals and Mexican Americans living in our region. It is our shared goal to ensure
all people have a safe and welcoming place to call home and an opportunity to
thrive. While President Trump works to build a wall, and puts up signs on our
borders that say, “you are not welcome here,” Mexico has put up signs in their
Consulates that says, “all are welcome here.”

The MOU aims to strengthen the organizations’ institutional relationship and fight
prejudice and discrimination against LGBTQ people through education campaigns
and workshops, cultural competency training for Consular staff, forums aimed at
improving access to services for the Mexican LGBTQ community.

During the ceremony, Lilián Ferrer, Consul General of Mexico stated, “For the
Government of Mexico, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs it is a priority to ensure
that the LGBT community is well served by all Mexican officials and to support the
cause against discrimination and towards the recognition and acceptance of sexual
preferences and orientations.”

At the international level, Mexico has promoted at the UN Human Rights Council a
resolution on nondiscrimination and non-violence based by sexual orientation or
gender identity. In addition, an initiative has been introduced, to recognize gay
marriage in Mexico and our Supreme Court has already resolved in favor of gay
marriages so it is now a legal possibility in our country. It also authorizes adoption
from gay couples.

This is not a new relationship for the Sacramento LGBT Community Center. In 2015,
the Consulate General of Mexico in Sacramento began participating in Sacramento
Pride, becoming the first consular office in the U.S. to do so. Earlier this year, the
Consul General Lilián Ferrer received a Pride Award in recognition of the
Consulate’s and Mexico’s progress toward LGBTQ inclusivity.

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