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.