TIJUANA.- On May 3 and 4, during the 1st LGBTI Rights Meeting — hosted by COPS (College of Psychology and Sexuality) — civil organizations and LGBTI rights collectives in Baja California gathered, along with activists of all ages, to participate in this event, to dialogue and exchange proposals for unifying efforts and providing support for those in attendance. They agreed to open the event up for other groups.
One of the points of this meeting was to shine a light on the situation concerning local LGBTI rights, which are nowhere near as advanced as they are in Mexico City or the United States, and to state the need for a right’s agenda that includes access to justice, right to work and receive health services, education, culture, equality and non–discrimination.
During the course of the event, they acknowledged the history of the community in the Baja and efforts made by activists and others, like Emilio Velásquez — for whom they requested a moment of silence.
The two-day event resulted in the LGBTI Union of Baja California, which will offer training to pubic servants in legislature, on topics such as medical attention, employment and access to justice, informing them that discrimination is illegal and that there are sanctions in place to penalize public servants who abuse LGBTI rights. Discrimination, homophobia and institutionalized violence are all still common issues with public officials.
In attendance were activists and organization, mostly from Tijuana, including as honorable witness Prof. Gabriela Navarro of the National Committee on Human Rights, and nationally recognized activist Max Mejía. It was also attended by people from Ensenada looking to follow and achieve their own Center for LGBTI Rights, as well as visitors from Mexicali, which already has its own LGBTI Community Center.
There is not competition between the groups, as they all offer several different services, and are collaborating with other organizations, collectives and activists, looking to diversify the alliances and follow through with the agreements made during the first meeting:
- To form a LGBTI Union in which each organization, collective and activist maintains their autonomy while joining a statewide effort to meet, recognize and support each other.
- To create a reference system in order to conduct a LGBTI census in Baja California.
- To create a center in Tijuana, in defense and support of LGBTI rights, followed by the effort to do the same in Ensenada.
- To elaborate a State agenda for LGBTI rights, to be brought to key figures, who can help implement these ideas as State public policy.