The Mexican state of Sonora has embarked on a crusade against “offensive,” and “denigrating,” names.
Parents in that northwestern state of Mexico will no longer be allowed to give their kids names like Scrotum, Rambo, Batman, Twitter or Facebook, according to a law passed by local legislators on Monday.
You might not think it would occur to anyone to give their children name’s like those, but it has happened in the past.
Sonora has actually compiled a list of 54 “denigrating,” names which have already been given to people in that part of Mexico. Local registrars will now be banned from accepting any of them.
Want to see some more forbidden names?
There’s Lady Di, Calzon, [underwear], Circuncision, and Gordonia [fatty].
Want to name your kids Harry Potter, Rolling Stone or Christmas Day? You will have to go outside of Sonora’s borders. Names like Shakira, or Wisin & Yandel? Not in Sonora. The new law also bans “artistic’” names.
Sonora is not the only territory to go after parents who want to give their kids weird names.
A couple years ago, New Zealand came up with a list of names [used in the past] that the national registry would no longer accept, including Lucifer, Bishop, Baron and General.
Venezuela contemplated a law that would’ve banned names that “expose children to ridicule” back in 2007. But legislators withdrew the proposal after civil rights groups warned it would violate the constitutional “right to liberty.”
Good news then for Venezuelan parents who’ve named their kids Superman, Usnaby [after U.S. Navy] and Mileidy.
In Sonora, legislators are attempting to ban names that will expose kids to bullying and ridicule.
Officials have already said that their list of 54 prohibited names is by no means finalized.
“These names may sound funny, but they can be a negative thing for the person who must carry them,” Sonora’s Chief Registrar, Cristina Ramirez told Mexican paper La Jornada.
According to La Jornada, the new law bars the registrar’s office from accepting any name that is pejorative, discriminatory, denigrating, or “lacks meaning.”
Foreign names are allowed, but not if they replicate the name of a famous person. So yes, you can name your kid Michael Hernandez. But no, you can’t name your kid Michael Jackson Hernandez.
Manuel Rueda is a correspondent for Fusion, covering Mexico and South America. He travels from donkey festivals, to salsa clubs to steamy places with cartel activity.