Two gay men were arrested for kissing on a public beach in Mexico. A huge crowd flared up in protest against their detention, forcing the cops to release them.

The men were at a beach in Tulum town of Quintana Roo state, Mexico, on Sunday evening last week. A video of the incident was uploaded on Facebook, depicting heavily armed men handcuffing and leading the speedo-clad men to a vehicle, even as some beachgoer chanted “No!No!No!” at the cops. 

One beach-goer shared the story online. “While I was on the beach with my family, we noticed around 4.30 that two police officers in their ATVs approached a group of young foreigners. After about 20 minutes…we noticed that a patrol arrived and proceeded to arrest them with handcuffs.”

“The police were violent, and gave arguments such as: ‘There are families and children and they cannot be seeing this.’ [The two men] were forced into the patrol car and they would not let them go. All of us who were gathered were upset at seeing the situation, no matter how much we told them that they were not committing any crime, they did not release them.”

According to Out , local police dismissed the allegations of homophobia levelled against the officers. They said the two men were held for “immoral acts and sexual erotic demonstrations, on the road or public places” following a complaint. After the arrest of the two men, a crowd gathered at the beach and chanted “I am gay too!” to express solidarity with the men. The pressure from the crowd eventually forced the cops to release the men.

“I want to express my anger because the police here in Quintana Roo are homophobic…They were not committing any crime…It’s not possible that in the 21st century, this type of oppression against the LGBT+ community still happens,” said Maritza Escalante Morales, a local politician, according to a report by Daily News.

In 2016, Enrique Peña Nieto, the former Mexican President, signed an initiative to amend the country’s constitution and legalise same sex marriages on a federal level. Despite the decriminalisation of gay sex in Mexico, the country is predominantly Catholic, which leads to religious discrimination against the queer community, especially outside of large cities.

 

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