The “Moral Primer” booklet being distributed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is being seen by human-rights activists as a step away from a secular society.
AMLO says in the introduction that this moral guide is a tool for Mexicans in the face of the “decadence” that the country is experiencing as a result of corruption, lack of opportunities and loss of values.
Gay rights groups in particular are alarmed that the book reinforces values held by religious groups opposed to sexual freedom.
On Sunday, Lopez Obrador began distributing copies of the 1952 family-values booklet, which is based on a text by the Mexican writer, thinker and diplomat Alfonso Reyes.
Critics found the language preachy and lacking inclusion. The text uses the Spanish word for “soul” 15 times, and “spirit” 17 times, but never the word “woman.” It does, however, refer to “the condition of men.” The book goes into being personally clean and respectful, not indulging in “natural appetites.”
Alex Órue, director of the organization It Gets Better Mexico, maintains that the text reflects the Christian ideology of the president, “alien to his position and duty to ensure the secular state.”
López Obrador has argued on several occasions that the issue of marriage equality and abortion will be put up to a public referendum. That would put a human rights decision up to popular vote.
Also on Sunday, journalist Beatriz Gutierrez, wife of the president, published an opinion article in the weekly Desde la Fe, which is published by the Archdiocese of Mexico. The topic was sacred art.
“In and of itself, there is no clear support for sectors that are attacked by Christian groups that are anti-rights and there is no clear support for sexual diversity on the part of Lopez Obrador. On the contrary, there are things about his past, his statements, his personal and political points of view that are on alert and he has not retracted,” an activist known simply as Orue said.
Orue highlights that behind Lopez Obrador’s various acts there are “symbols of religious overtones … that are not in favor of civic values but to reinforce moralistic aspects that can be a threat to the sexual, reproductive freedoms of women and the LGBT community. “
For the analyst Carlos Sepúlveda, despite good intentions, it is a document that “nobody in Mexico will read.”
“It is very good to try to get people to act in all areas with an attachment to ethics, to citizenship,” Sepúlveda told BBC Mundo, but adding: “The document does not really have any practical meaning, it has an informative sense that seeks to instruct many people in matters of civility and culture, but I think it will not influence anything.”
Source: The Mazatlan Post