Fmr. Mexican congressman fined for calling trans-identified politician a ‘man who describes himself as a woman’

Rodrigo Iván Cortés
Rodrigo Iván Cortés | ADF International

A Mexican civil society leader and former congressman faces a fine of more than $1,000 for referring to a trans-identified lawmaker as “a man who describes himself as a woman” as a court of last resort upholds his conviction for committing “gender-based political violence.”

The nonprofit legal organization ADF International announced in a statement Thursday that Rodrigo Ivan Cortes, the leader of the advocacy group Frente Nacional Por La Familia, will have to pay a fine of 19,244 Mexican pesos, equivalent to $1,134.58, after the Superior Chamber of the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judicial Power upheld a lower court ruling convicting him of “gender-based political violence” for calling trans-identified Mexican Congressional representative Salma Luevano a “man who describes himself as a woman.”

The Superior Chamber constitutes the court of last resort for Cortes, making him unable to appeal the decision. In addition to convicting him of gender-based political violence, the lower court convicted the former lawmaker of “digital violence,” “symbolic violence,” “psychological violence” and “sexual violence for his social media expression.”

Get Our Latest News for FREE

Subscribe to get daily/weekly email with the top stories (plus special offers!) from The Christian Post. Be the first to know.

The decision handed down by the Superior Chamber on Wednesday goes beyond upholding the lower court ruling and orders Cortes to “publish the court ruling and an apology drafted by the court on Twitter and Facebook daily for 30 days.” Additionally, Cortes has to take a course on “gender-based political violence” and register on the National Registry of Persons Sanctioned in Political Matters against Women, even though he did not commit any acts against a woman.

“This judgment is gravely disappointing—the suppression of speech and expression points to the demolition of democracy in Mexico,” Cortes lamented in a reaction to Wednesday’s decision. “I am committed to seeking justice and securing mine and every Mexican citizen’s right to freedom of speech. No laws should be used to silence or punish individuals for sharing their convictions, especially on issues of great importance. Peacefully expressing the truth of biological reality can never be a crime.”

ADF International legal counsel Kristina Hjelkrem, whose organization represents Cortes, also condemned the Superior Chamber’s ruling: “Disagreement is not discrimination, and peaceful dissent should never be penalized as violence. It is deeply disturbing that Cortes, who exercised his right to peaceably share his views on a matter of significant current debate, has been convicted as a violent offender when it is his opponents who are perpetuating unrest within Mexico’s political institutions.”

“Free speech is greatly threatened in Mexico at this time, and it has hit a crisis point with courts imposing severe censorship sanctions for the peaceful expression of views as evidenced by this egregious case,” she added. “More and more, we are seeing the Mexican government violate its citizens’ fundamental and constitutional right to freedom of speech. Cortes spoke out, peacefully, in support of self-evident truth, and for that, he has been convicted as a violent offender and subjected to onerous punishments.”

The lower court ruling, handed down in June, lays out the nine social media postings that led to Cortes’ conviction, including one where the leader of the pro-family organization characterizes Luevano as “a man who describes himself as a woman” and expresses concern about the lawmaker’s initiative to “modify the General Law of Religious Associations” to classify biblical teachings against the ideology of “gender confusion” as “hate speech.”

While Cortes has exhausted his options in Mexico’s legal system, he plans to take his case to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights with assistance from ADF International.

Cortes contends that “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,” he vowed. “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.”

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

Was this article helpful?

Help keep The Christian Post free for everyone.

By making a recurring donation or a one-time donation of any amount, you're helping to keep CP's articles free and accessible for everyone.

We’re sorry to hear that.

Hope you’ll give us another try and check out some other articles. Return to homepage.

Most Popular

More Articles