Mexico’s first openly gay mayor does not support same-sex marriage

Benjamin Medrano Quezada, mayor of Fresnillo — Mexico's first openly gay mayor. Via Metro World News
Benjamin Medrano Quezada, mayor of Fresnillo — Mexico’s first openly gay mayor.
Credit: Metro World News

Mexico’s first openly gay mayor was this month sworn in at a ceremony in a city in the rough, gang violence-ridden Zacatecas state. Benjamin Medrano, 48, a singer who owns a gay bar, now heads the municipal office in Fresnillo, a city of 111,000 in a rural region noted for its cowboy hats, machismo and conservative Catholicism. The city has been caught up in a turf war between rival drug cartels.

Metro spoke to Medrano about his electoral victory and his views on same-sex marriage.

Metro: You have been acknowledged as Mexico’s first gay mayor…

Medrano: I’m not the first – rather, I’m the only one who had the guts to make my sexual orientation public. People who know me know that I have neither hidden my preferences nor ever denied them. There are many politicians who dare not come out of the closet.

Was it difficult to convince people that sexual preferences have nothing to do with politics?

The city of Fresnillo has more important problems so they did not care – they want to know who can solve a food crisis, insecurity or improve their living conditions.

What has been the secret to your electoral success?

My approach to people, how I conduct myself and work to give results.

Across the world, the gay marriage movement is gathering pace. You are a Roman Catholic, living in a conservative part of Mexico – what is your stance on the issue?

I do not support gay marriage. I am a lawyer by profession and this kind of legal union is not in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution; it has a different meaning to all laws that speak of what marriage should be. However, I respect those (homosexuals) who are getting married in Mexico City (where conducting same-sex marriage is legal) or elsewhere in the country because everyone has the right to demonstrate love the way they want.

So, are you a conservative?

First of all, I am a responsible person, but I can consider myself to be very conservative. I think the gay and lesbian community has fallen into some excesses. But here in Fresnillo, for example, people with this orientation are very constructive – they have their own businesses and who come into their own.

You are known locally for your singing career. What made you leave the music industry and go into politics?

I never left it, so to speak. More, the music took me into the political scene. I still own two bars and work as a music artist and trade show promoter.

Who is Benjamin Medrano?

  • Born to a poor family with 11 siblings in Nochistlán, Zacatecas state.
  • Went to the United States aged 6, as part of a musician group. Toured the U.S. and Mexico.
  • Graduated with a law degree aged 21; Led a trade union for professional musicians; recorded several albums of ballads.
  • Set up a gay nightclub in 1994; entered politics four years later.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

Movies

Shia LaBeouf disorderly conduct case pushed to September

A judge on Thursday adjourned until September the disorderly conduct and harassment case against actor Shia LaBeouf, who was charged with disturbing a Broadway theater…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.