A group of LGBT demonstrators attacked the Mexico City Congress Feb. 22, damaging doors and windows. Some in the group also tried to attack Congresswoman América Rangel.

The group forcibly entered the premises to protest a bill that would prohibit hormonal and surgical sex change treatments for children introduced two weeks ago by Rangel, a member of the opposition National Action Party (PAN). 

Among the group’s demands is the withdrawal of the bill, which if passed provides a sentence of two to seven years in prison for those who perform hormonal and surgical sex changes on minors. The lawmaker is confident that her initiative will be successful because, she said, “we good people are in the majority.”

After the protest, Rangel posted on Twitter that “fortunately I’m okay after a group of people tried to physically assault me.”

“I thank the congressional staff for ensuring my personal safety at all times and thank you all for your messages. Violence is not and will never be the solution,” the lawmaker said.

The National Front for the Family of Mexico expressed its support for Rangel and condemned the attempted attack on her by “transsexual protesters.”

On Feb. 22, the congresswoman filed criminal complaints with the attorney general’s office “against the persons responsible for yesterday’s violent acts.” 

“We have perfectly identified three people” and the identities of other attackers are being sought, the Mexican legislator said.

What motivated the violence

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In addition to related issues, the violent demonstration was primarily a reaction to a bill Rangel introduced Feb. 9 in the Mexico City Congress to amend the Law on the Rights of Girls, Boys, and Adolescents of Mexico City.

In 2016 Mexico City, formerly the Federal District (though not one of the country’s 31 states), acquired many of the responsibilities and powers of a state including its own constitution and congress.

Days before before the protest had taken place, in an Feb. 14 interview with ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, the Mexican legislator pointed out that her bill “has generated a lot of debate” among the public and, she said, “I think it’s very good that we are discussing this issue publicly.”

“For our part, we will continue to be part of that debate, while lobbying for the law to be passed,” she said.

“In addition, we are talking with legislators from other states so that this law is introduced in as many states as possible,” she said.

In support of her initiative, Rangel stressed that “minors do not have the intellectual maturity to make a decision of that magnitude.”

“Just as children don’t have the right to drink or smoke, they shouldn’t have the right to change their sex either,” she explained.

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The Mexican politician also noted that “in the world there are thousands of cases of so-called ‘detransitioners,’ people who underwent these treatments when they were minors and years later regret it when they realize the very serious consequences of a decision they made when they were children.”

In 2020, the government of Mexico City, headed by Claudia Sheinbaum, a member of the Morena party, announced eased regulations for “trans” children to legally change their sex in the Civil Registry of the Mexican capital.

Sheinbaum is considered one of the possible candidates for Morena, the party of the current president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, in the 2024 presidential elections.

In April 2022, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, the highest judicial body in Mexico with the powers of a constitutional court, made it possible for children to be able to change their sex on their official documents.

‘The support of the majority’

The PAN congresswoman charged that “there is a great campaign by promoters of gender ideology around the world that even confuses parents and makes them make hasty decisions, taking advantage of the difficult time they are going through with their children.”

“It’s important for parents to remember that children are easily influenced and change their minds all the time,” she said.

Rangel is convinced that “these types of ideas have the support of the majority, but they have made us believe that we are extremists and anti-rights, which makes many people remain silent.”

“I think that if we really want to defend childhood, life, and the family, we must all get rid of our fear and raise our voices against gender ideology, a perverse ideology that seeks to do away with Western culture,” she said.

“Let’s defend our values and not bow down to the progressive dictatorship,” she concluded.

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