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Mexico's first openly gay mayor, Benjamin Medrano, elected in rough north state of Zacatecas

ASSOCIATED PRESS

MEXICO CITY -- The first openly gay mayor ever elected in Mexico is scheduled to take office in the rough, violence-plagued state of Zacatecas in September.

It's an unexpected place to see a step forward in gay rights. The city of Fresnillo has become better known recently for gang shootouts.

Mayor-elect Benjamin Medrano says he doesn't think he's at risk from the drug violence, but is proud to be openly gay.

He said Thursday he won't challenge the Catholic church, or advocate for gay marriage or adoption.

Medrano instead says he'll focus on more pressing issues, like professionalizing and vetting the city's police force.

"It's not like I'm going to paint town hall pink," Medrano said.

Medrano was declared the winner last week of the city's July 7 elections.

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Wasn't Puerto Vallarta's previous mayor also gay?

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