Mexican Court Rules Against Pro-Family Leader Who Called a ‘Trans’ Woman Legislator a Man

The verdict of the Specialized Chamber against the National Front for the Family and its president, Rodrigo Iván Cortés, could be appealed to the Superior Chamber of Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary.

The Federal Electoral Tribunal is located in Mexico City.
The Federal Electoral Tribunal is located in Mexico City. (photo: Mayte briceño - Own work / CC BY-SA 4.0, by Wikimedia Commons)

The Specialized Chamber of the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary in Mexico has ruled against the National Front for the Family (FNF) and its president, Rodrigo Iván Cortés, for calling Salma Luévano, a “trans” woman congressional representative, a “man.”

In a Feb. 2 statement, the court said that Cortés and the FNF “committed political violence against women based on gender due to various posts on social media and the internet against the federal congresswoman, Salma Luévano, and trans women.”

To the Specialized Chamber, “the reported expressions were offensive and discriminatory by rejecting the gender identity and devaluing the performance of the federal congresswoman, which constituted digital, symbolic, psychological, and sexual violence against her.”

“Consequently, a fine was imposed on the aforementioned association as well as on its president; in addition, the publication of a retraction of the sentence was ordered [to be posted] on the social media on which the offense was committed, the issuance of a public apology, and other comprehensive reparation measures and guarantees of non-repetition,” the statement added.

This ruling is the most recent episode in a controversy that arose after Luévano, a member of the National Regeneration Movement (Morena) political party of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, showed up in the Federal Congress on Sept. 21, 2022, wearing clothing similar to that of a Catholic bishop.

On that occasion, Luévano announced a bill to reform the Law on Religious Associations and Public Worship, which would allow churches that, according to the bill’s criteria, spread “hate speech” to be penalized.

“The full weight of the law [must fall on] those leaders who incite hatred against us until [our] dignity becomes the norm,” said Luévano, who wore a miter and a red chasuble.

The National Front for the Family, along with the Citizens Initiative platform, charged in a social-media post that “the transsexual deputy [legislator] Salma Luévano” by his actions “offends the believers of a religion but insults all of Christianity.” 

Cortés later said in a video that Luévano is “a man who describes himself as a woman, who demands respect, but it is exactly what he does not give; he asks for what he does not give, with tremendous disrespect.”

These and other posts critical of Luévano were deleted from social media by order of the Grievances and Complaints Commission of the National Electoral Institute in November 2022.

The verdict of the Specialized Chamber against Cortés and the FNF could be appealed to the Superior Chamber of Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary, whose mission, according to its website, is “to resolve controversies in electoral matters, protect the political-electoral rights of male and female citizens, and administer justice in the electoral sphere.”

The Superior Chamber ruled last year against Congressman Gabriel Quadri from the opposition National Action Party for criticizing “trans” congressmen occupying spaces reserved for women in the Congress of the Union (i.e., federal congress).

Based on the notion of “parity” added to the constitution in recent years, state agencies in Mexico must aim to be made up of 50% men and 50% women. That includes both houses of the Congress of the Union, Mexico’s national legislature.

According to the court ruling, Quadri’s name must remain for two years and nine months in the “National Registry of Persons Sanctioned in Matters of Political Violence Against Women based on Gender.”

Months prior, Quadri was sanctioned by the National Action Party’s Platform Committee for calling Salma Luévano “sir.”

The verdict against Cortés and the FNF was criticized by well-known pro-life and pro-family politician Juan Carlos Leal, a former state representative from Nuevo León.

In response, Salma Luévano taunted “@CarlosLealMx you want to end up like the transphobes of @gquadri and @rodrigoivanc: suspended of their political-electoral rights.”

In his posts, Luévano used ungrammatical gender-neutral endings to words that in Spanish have either masculine or feminine endings.

‘We Are Already in a Gender Dictatorship’

In a statement to ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, Leal pointed out that Luévano is a “man who perceives himself as a woman and who is taking the place of a woman in the Congress of the Union.”

“We are already in a gender dictatorship. It’s a dictatorship where if you think differently, and if you mention a biological truth, that sex cannot be changed, you can now be fined by an electoral authority,” he criticized.

Leal pointed out that it ought to be determined in the legal system “if this electoral authority has the jurisdiction to penalize anyone for this kind of situation.”

For the Mexican pro-family politician, “it’s unfortunate that we are already living through a gender dictatorship imposed by the progressive and left-wing governments that have ruled the country.”

“We really require a change now; we need a right-wing party to be formed now, that a right-wing government be formed, and we hope that this will be very soon,” he said.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.