SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court says increasing social acceptance of gays in Mexico does not make them less vulnerable to persecution.

A divided 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reached that conclusion in a ruling Wednesday that revived the asylum claim of a gay Mexican man, Carlos Alberto Bringas-Rodriguez, who alleged he was abused as a child because of his sexual orientation.

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A smaller 9th Circuit panel had rejected Bringas’ claim, citing gay pride marches, expanded marriage equality and other indicators that gays were gaining acceptance in Mexico.

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Writing for the majority in Wednesday’s ruling, 9th Circuit Judge Kim Wardlaw said laws in Mexico prohibiting persecution of gays were not evidence of on-the-ground progress.

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An email to the U.S. Department of Justice for comment was not immediately returned.