Two male members of the Rarámuri Indigenous tribe from Northern Mexico celebrated the community’s first same-sex marriage this weekend.
The party for the unprecedented coupling of Eduardo González and Roger Aguirre was part of a protest in the capital city of Chihuahua held by LGBTQ members of the Rarámuri demanding recognition of their rights within their community. “Within our community, this is still a taboo,” González told VICE World News. “We face double discrimination for being gay and Indigenous.”
González and Aguirre were officially married under Mexican law in January this year after an “excessive load of paperwork and legal resources.” After they were wed, they started an organization dedicated to the rights of Indigenous gay people—the Comité Estatal Chihuahua Napawiká Tomogé Rarámuri.
In the state of Chihuahua, marriage between same-sex people has been legal since 2015. The couple view their marriage as a win not only for them but also for their tribe. “We’ve only been fighting for a short time, but we feel we have made a huge advance in our community,” said González.
Around 300 people attended the celebratory protest this weekend, according to González, to the looks of passersby. Most were dressed in their typical Indigenous attire and carried posters saying: “We are all equal,” along with pride flags.
The Rarámuri are a Native American people from Chihuahua, Mexico, who have long been famous for their long-distance running wearing just thin-soled sandals. The Rarámuri religion is a mostly conservative synthesis of Indigenous customs and Roman Catholicism.
Marriage equality and LGBTQ rights started to move forward in Mexico after Mexico City became the first region to legalize same-sex marriage in 2009. In 2015, the Mexican Supreme Court ruled state laws prohibiting marriage between same-sex couples as unconstitutional.
Mexico is still the second-most-violent country against the LGBTQ community after Brazil, according to the National Observatory of Hate Crimes Against LGBTQ People.