In what is becoming a pattern in various Western nations, a former Mexican congressman has been convicted of “gender based political violence” for “misgendering” a male Mexican representative who identifies as female.
Rodrigo Iván Cortés, who is also head of the advocacy group Frente Nacional por la Familia (FNF), has been convicted of multiple crimes due to his social media posts that referred to transgender Mexican congressional representative Salma Luévano as a “man who self-ascribes as a woman.”
Luévano filed a complaint against Cortés due to nine Facebook and Twitter posts he made which referred to him as a man, alleging the posts constituted “denial of identity.”
According to a translation, the posts included comments such as “a biological man who identifies as a woman,” “a transexual deputy,” “men dressed as women,” “biologically they will never become women,” and transgender people “promote prostitution and pedophilia.”
The former Congressman was convicted by a lower court whose ruling was recently upheld by the Superior Chamber of the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judicial Power, Mexico’s highest court for electoral issues. The court found him guilty of “(i) gender-based political violence, (ii) digital violence, (iii) symbolic violence, (iv) psychological violence, and (v) sexual violence for his social media expression.”
The Superior Chamber levied a fine of $19,244 MXN, or $1,122.69 USD. Cortés must also publish the court ruling and a court-drafted apology on his social media pages every day for 30 days, take a course on gender-based political violence, and be registered on the National Registry of Persons Sanctioned in Political Matters Against Women.
Cortés made the posts in response to actions by Luévano and María Clemente, another transgender representative. Luévano, dressed like a bishop, presented a bill that would have criminalized Christian teachings on sexuality and gender as hate speech, such as calling homosexuality a sin or evil.
It’s not the first time a conviction of gender-based violence has been delivered on behalf of Luévano, who also filed a suit against Congressional member Gabriel Quadri due to tweets disagreeing with gender ideology. One post that was at issue was Quadri’s comment that men who identify as women had taken seats in Congress designated for women. In 2019, Mexico passed a law which requires an equal number of men and women members of Congress.
While the charges were rejected, after Luévano appealed, the Superior Chamber ruled that “The expressions analyzed were intended to deny the identity of trans women, thus they violate the right to identity, which in turn is a form of denial of equal dignity, thus the tweets are discriminatory.”
The Superior Chamber explained that the tweets “had the intention of undermining the exercise of the political-electoral rights of trans women and of Salma Luevano in particular, and they were based on gender element.”
Clemente physically wrestled control from the president of the chamber in order to try to remove Quadri from Congress. Clemente also tweeted inappropriate videos of his “sex work.” The two transgender members of Congress belong to the MORENA party, which has pushed for constitutional amendments to enshrine sexual rights, including for minors. These are some of the actions FNF opposes and has written social media posts expressing that opposition.
Cortés reacted to the conviction in a statement by saying:
“The real purpose of this conviction is to silence me from saying what every concerned citizen needs to hear—that these actions and proposed laws are driving forward a radical agenda in Mexico, which poses a very serious threat to the wellbeing of our society, especially our children. I remain committed to the peaceful expression of truth, the defense of our fundamental freedoms, and the protection of our children. Further, I reject violence on all grounds. One need only watch the videos of unrest in our Congress to see clearly that it is not me and my organization that is bringing chaos and disorder into Mexico’s political institutions.”
It’s not just in Mexico where dissent from LGBTQ beliefs has led to political persecution and criminal trials. Finnish Member of Parliament Päivi Räsänen and Lutheran Bishop Juhana Pohjola were criminally tried but then acquitted on charges of hate speech for sharing their church’s views on marriage and sexuality including posting Romans 1:24-27.
In a recent twist, though, prosecutors have appealed their acquittals and will try the pair again at the end of August.
The prosecution says that the court did not “fully perceive and understand” the “degrading and dehumanizing” message against “homosexuals and … their right to dignity and self-determination.”
“In order to protect the dignity and equality of homosexuals, it is necessary to exclude Räsänen’s statements from freedom of expression by interpreting them as punishable hate speech directed at them [homosexuals],” the prosecution claims.
Clearly, the U.S. is not alone in being tyrannized by LGBTQ activists. Countries that have acquiesced and appeased the purveyors of this ideology are paying an increasingly steep price. That’s because, like other Marxist ideologies, this isn’t about equality or tolerance but about putting some views above all others. To meet these goals, the LGBTQ mob first demands that everyone praise homosexuality and transgenderism, fly the Pride flag, and use the proper pronouns, but those who don’t will be compelled to speak it or face persecution or prosecution for engaging in “hate speech.”
This ideology is antithetical to a free society founded on Judeo-Christian ethics. Under the guise of hate speech laws, activists are hijacking government and outlawing not just dissent but religious beliefs. Those who advocate for such foolish policies are trying to legislate the views of the masses, prescribing their own orthodoxy.
In nearly every case, those who push for hate speech laws will claim that they support free speech while also insisting that it is not without limits, those limits being, effectively, “You disagree with me” or “I don’t like what you said.”
This is not only dangerous to freedom, but it will ultimately bring about its demise. Stated a different way: When a free country adopts and embraces hate speech laws, it will soon cease to be free.
We are now seeing that play out in Mexico, where speaking the truth and advocating for women’s rights gets you publicly shamed and put on a criminal registry; in the U.K, where praying silently near an abortion clinic gets you arrested; in Canada, where stating during a classroom discussion that “there are only two genders” will get you kicked out of school; and in Finland, where citing a Bible verse on your personal social media account or sharing a booklet about God’s design for marriage could get you thrown in jail for years.
Even in the U.S., Christians are being rejected by government agencies from fostering or adopting children.
Bear in mind that these cases involve politicians, pastors, veterans, teachers, parents, and minors, which only shows that in any country ruled by “hate speech” laws rather than free speech principles, no one is safe from the tyranny of the “tolerant.”
Ready to dive deeper into the intersection of faith and policy? Head over to our Theology of Politics series page where we’ve published several long-form pieces that will help Christians navigate where their faith should direct them on political issues.