With Mexico’s June 2 presidential election fast approaching, the attention of the country’s citizens is increasingly focused on the proposals of the candidates who are vying to succeed incumbent President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.  

There are three candidates in the race for president of Mexico: Claudia Sheinbaum, a member of the ruling Morena party — founded by current president Andrés Manuel López Obrador — heads the left-wing coalition Together We Make History; Xóchitl Gálvez of the opposition National Action Party (PAN) is the candidate of the electoral alliance Broad Front for México; and Jorge Álvarez Máynez is running for the Citizen Movement.

When it comes to issues of particular interest to Catholics, abortion and the policy agenda of the LGBT lobby are among the most sensitive. Here’s where the three candidates stand on these issues in particular.

Xóchitl Gálvez

Regarding abortion, Gálvez has spoken out on several occasions. In her most recent statement, she said: “I don’t agree with criminalizing any woman who has an abortion, I am totally against it.”

“Abortion is an individual decision of the woman. If she makes this determination, she should be accompanied, not judged,” Galvez posted on her social media on Sept. 28, 2020, a date when feminists commemorate the so-called “Global Day of Action for Legal and Safe Abortion.” 

During her years in the Mexican Senate (2018–2023), Gálvez voted in favor of criminalizing so-called “conversion therapy.” Speaking about her vote in October 2022, she noted: “I believe it is an act of justice for the LGBTQ+ community. We owe it to them and I hope today we can make this law that will allow a human being to never again be subjected to therapy of this type.”

She also supported social security reform for same-sex couples, stating: “There’s no wiser saying than love is love, period. All people have the right to love each other.”

Regarding the legal status of drugs in Mexico, when the federal congress discussed the bill for legalizing and regulating cannabis, Gálvez stated: “I am going to vote for it, because rules will be established for its consumption without losing sight of the fact that marijuana is a drug, but today marijuana is sold illegally, it promotes the black market and engenders violence.”

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Claudia Sheinbaum

At the start of her campaign, the candidate made 100 commitments that she would fulfill if elected, among them guaranteeing “access to health for women throughout their life cycle, especially with regard to sexual and reproductive health.”

In the different publications of international institutions such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the couched terminology “sexual and reproductive health” and “sexual and reproductive rights” usually includes “safe abortion.”

In 2022, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade — which in 1973 legalized abortion throughout the country — Sheinbaum declared that “it would be a setback” for the neighboring country to declare abortion, which she called “a right,” illegal. In response, her then-secretary of health, Oliva López Arellano, promoted Mexico City as an option to foreigners who wanted to have an abortion.

That same year, when so-called homosexual “marriage” was passed in the states of Guerrero and Tamaulipas, Sheinbaum celebrated: “Today the entire country advances in equal rights with the passage of marriage equality in Guerrero and Tamaulipas. I celebrate this demonstration of the will of the people and the search for justice for all men and women by both state congresses. Love is love.”

In addition, Sheinbaum, who formerly headed the government of Mexico City, publicly condemned conversion therapy for homosexuals, considering it to be “from the Inquisition,” and said that these are methods that “don’t belong in a city of rights.”

In December 2023, the candidate shared on X an image along with commentary stating her strong desire “to strengthen the rights of sexually diverse people.”

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“My dream is to continue to fight for sexually diverse people as I did in Mexico City,” she said.

Jorge Álvarez Máynez

While serving as a representative in the Zacatecas state Legislature for the New Alliance party (2010–2013), Álvarez introduced several bills to decriminalize abortion and adultery, in addition to supporting “marriage equality,” which he noted on X.

Also on X, Álvarez came out in favor of what he called “the right to painless death with dignity” and called for changing the law in order to legalize and effectively regulate “active euthanasia.”

According to the National Bioethics Commission of Mexico, “active euthanasia is the action that puts an end to the patient’s life through an intervention aimed at procuring death, such as the administration of a drug.” The General Health Law, in Article 166 Section 21, prohibits “the practice of euthanasia, understood as homicide out of mercy.” 

In 2023, as a federal congressman, Álvarez introduced a bill to establish an administrative procedure in the Federal Civil Code that allows all Mexicans to change their gender identity on official government records.

Another bill by Álvarez sought to include “gender perspective” in the regulations on conscientious objection in medical and nursing practices.

What are the candidates’ priorities?

The online Saber Votar (Know How to Vote) platform monitors the candidates’ positions on issues such as public safety and criminal justice, education, freedom of thought and expression, and respect for and protection of life, among others.

In an interview with ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, the director of Saber Votar, Guillermo Torres Quiroz, provided an overview of the main proposals of the three candidates.

Torres said the focus of Gálvez’s campaign has been on public safety and health. Regarding human rights, the political scientist noted that Gálvez is “committed to diversity.” In addition, she has demonstrated “support for migrants and respect for Indigenous and Afro-Mexican rights.”

According to the Saber Votar director, Sheinbaum has focused her campaign on “the consolidation and continuity” of the current government as well as the implementation of “new social programs.”

Other important issues for Sheinbaum, he said, include guaranteeing “the freedoms of expression, press, assembly, and to demonstrate,” as well as “the religious, political, social, cultural, and sexual freedom” of society.

As Torres sees it, Álvarez “has focused his efforts on two crucial areas: inequality and corruption.”

In Torres’ view, the Citizen Movement candidate would work “for education, for the protection of sexual and reproductive rights” and “will promote a public health system with specialized services and a guaranteed supply of medicines.”

Torres noted that for the three candidates the issue of education is important. However, all three “omit the lack of basic and technological infrastructure in the schools, as well as the improvement of student learning” and fail to mention the knowledge and development of the transcendent values of the human person.

Issues of life, family, and freedoms are ignored

Meanwhile, the platform Voto Católico (Catholic Vote) has also analyzed each candidate, evaluating their proposals in light of the core values of the Christian faith. The platform’s director, Luis Antonio Hernández, shared his observations with ACI Prensa.

Hernández explained that “the current election cycle is characterized by the absence of a presidential candidate who shows an outstanding commitment to respect and protect life, as well as to comprehensive education and fundamental rights.”

Hernández pointed out that “these transcendental issues” have been replaced by “merely circumstantial issues overlaid with a heavy load of ideology” and emphasis on social aid programs.

He added that “the presence of the agenda of life, family, and freedoms is today limited to very discrete tones within a sea of ideology and proposals to further disrupt the institutions and laws that for decades have guaranteed governability, political stability, as well as relative social peace.”

How could the candidates’ positions affect the future of the country?

Hernández noted that, despite the relevance of the presidential office, “the experience of recent years shows us that the profile of the president of the republic is not decisive in whether or not the liberal agenda advances.”

Rather, he maintained that the “direction of Mexican society will depend largely on the performance of state legislatures” and on the “commitment and efficiency” of civil society groups and organizations.

Hernández encouraged them to “reformulate their work” and actively participate “evaluating the performance of legislators, formulating concrete, realistic, and achievable initiatives aimed at promoting and strengthening the right to life, motherhood, the traditional family, and fundamental freedoms.”

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