Saturday, August 21, 2010

Despite washing his hands, Daniel Karam of IMSS under attack for denying gay rights

A couple of days ago, Daniel Karam, head of Mexican Social Security (IMSS), declared IMSS would refuse gay couples access to social security, despite the recent Supreme Court decision that gay couples are constitutional. Karam's reasoning, a hand-washing worthy of a Pontius Pilate, was the following
The IMSS statutes does not explicitly mention gays, hence, IMSS have to wait for Congress to change the statutes.

Karam: "It is not my place to say whether I am in favor or against a change in the law; it is my place to apply it as it is."

This is quite pathetic. Given the salience of the issue and the recent Supreme Court interpretation, as the IMSS statutes stand, one hardly need to engage in institional engineering to interpret that gay couples, who certainly do pay taxes to IMSS, should have the same rights to e.g.  social security, medical attention, or kindergarten services that straight couples are entitled to, in case of the death of a IMSS-registered partner. 
(as gays are not mentioned in the IMSS charter, does that mean they do not have to pay IMSS contributions either?)

Regardless, health secretary Ángel Córdova Villalobos, a possible presidential contender, responded favorably to "initiating a debate" on the issue. Already, one IMSS client has filed an injunction against IMSS for its refusal to register her partner. So far only one political party, the PRD, is standing up for equal social rights for gay couples . 

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