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Mexican Lawmaker Dies

Gay-Friendly
Mexican Lawmaker Dies

Gilberto Rincon Gallardo, a former socialist presidential candidate who gained respect in Mexico for defending the rights of the disabled, gays, and other marginalized groups, died Saturday. He was 69.

Gilberto Rincon Gallardo, a former socialist presidential candidate who gained respect in Mexico for defending the rights of the disabled, gays, and other marginalized groups, died Saturday. He was 69.

Rincon Gallardo, born with shortened arms as a result of a congenital birth defect, was the head of the National Council for Preventing Discrimination. A government statement said he died in Mexico City but did not give a cause of death.

President Felipe Calderon issued a statement praising Rincon Gallardo's "tireless, lifelong work for the rights of the disabled and his significant contribution to the democratic development of our country."

Rincon Gallardo was the candidate of the tiny Social Democracy party in Mexico's historic 2000 election, when the Institutional Revolutionary Party lost the presidency after seven decades of single-party rule.

Though Rincon Gallardo garnered few votes, he emerged as the conscience of the campaign by speaking out for gays, the disabled, rape victims, and Indians.

Conservative Vicente Fox, who won the 2000 election, appointed Rincon Gallardo to head Mexico's antidiscrimination council, a position he continued to hold under Calderon. (AP)

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