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Mexican President Obrador apologizes for misgendering trans woman lawmaker

Mexican President Manuel Lopéz Obrado and Salma Luévano
Future Publishing/Getty Images; Facebook/ @Diputadas y Diputados Morena

Obrador also called Salma Luévano a “man dressed like a woman.”

Mexican President Manuel Lopéz Obrador apologized to a trans woman legislator he misgendered and mocked after he greeted her at a public event with a kiss on the cheek, according to El País and other outlets.

Obrador generated controversy over the weekend after he greeted Salma Luévano with a customary kiss on the cheek, and then misgendered her and joked about the kiss with reporters a short time later.

“I also kiss men,” he said when asked why he kissed her, and he described her as a “man dressed like a woman.”

Obrador addressed the issue at the start of a press conference on Tuesday.

“I want to begin by offering an apology to a colleague who identifies as a woman, and yesterday I spoke about how she was a man dressed as a woman,” Obrador said at the press conference. “I am very respectful and I believe in freedom and people should take responsibility, anyone, however they identify,”

Luévano immediately accepted the apology via social media.

“This declaration is very important, because it makes visible a fight that has taken us decades,” Luévano posted to X, formerly Twitter. “I am a woman, Diputrans and that is not up for discussion. Now to wait for the president to receive me.”

Luévano has stated previously that she uses the term "diputrans" to shine a light on the plight of other trans women, according to La Opinion. She is a member of the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Mexico's Congress.

Both Obrador and Luévano belong to the Morena party, and Obrador seemed intent on quelling the controversy.

“If I gave my opinion on this issue, it is because I consider that love has no sex; it is above everything,” Obrador said. “It’s like freedom.”

Pictured: Obrador and Luévano

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