1. The Zacatecas region in Northern Mexico, with a reputation for drug violence and 10-gallon hats, has elected the first openly gay mayor in Mexico.
2. Benjamin Medrano, 47, won Fresnillo’s July 7 election and will take office this September.
3. Medrano has also been the owner of a local gay bar for nearly 18 years.
4. The newly elected mayor is also a talented singer, something that he claims made his sexuality easier for people to accept.
“Given that I’m a singer, people know that aspect of me,” Medrano told AP.
5. The Fresnillo area is home to two drug cartels, the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel, that are currently fighting for control of the area.
“I’m not at risk, because I don’t have any relationship with any of the groups,” Medrano said Thursday.
6. Medrano spoke with the AP about his new position:
Somewhat? Very machisto, I would say. I am going to be mayor of a township (roughly equivalent to a U.S. county) where there are 258 villages full of tough country people, who don’t necessarily have much information on what’s happening elsewhere, and have even less of an automatic sympathy with their gay mayor […] But — It’s not like I’m going to paint city hall pink, either.
7. Although he is openly gay, Medrano doesn’t support many of the LGBT movement’s main goals.
8. Medrano said of the movement toward marriage equality:
I’m not in favor of gay marriage, I don’t share that view, because we are still very small town … in short, we’re not prepared, in my view. Not yet, anyway, because we have strong roots in our religion, and in our customs.
9. He does, however, urge all politicians to come out of the closet.
He concluded he’s “very proud to be the first openly gay mayor in this country.”