The commemoration began with the massive demonstrations that broke out in New York after a raid on a gay bar known as the Stonewall Inn in 1969. Since then, Pride Day has been a date on which the rights of people of gender diversity and sexual are in the center of the reflectors. And despite the steps forward that have been taken, this year the outlook in Latin America and in Spain shows setbacks and constant threats.
Pride Day is far from being a festive date in Latin America and Spain. While the streets are colored with the rainbow flag, in most countries, hostilities and violence against people belonging to the LGTBIQ+ community continue to be the order of the day.
Although both Latin America and the Caribbean and Spain have taken steps forward in terms of rights and recognition of sexual and gender diversities, there are still many pending.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, the ban on same-sex relationships in some countries continues to be a reality. At the same time, violence is a constant faced by people with a diverse sexual orientation or gender identity.
While the rise of the extreme right and its recent gains in the elections municipal and autonomous in Spain, have shown a rejection of a large part of the population to the collective. One that is fiercely attacked by parties like Vox.
Violence against the LGTBIQ+ community in Latin America and the Caribbean
Latin America and the Caribbean are no exception in terms of discrimination. Violence, lack of legal recognition and inequality persist in the region.
According to data collected by No LGBTI Violence, between 2014 and 2020, 3,514 murders of LGTBIQ+ people were reported in the region. These acts of violence reflect the discrimination and hatred that still prevail in some societies.
Last year he did not present more encouraging figures. According to the newspaper ‘El Tiempo’, citing the same NGO, at least 344 LGBTIQ+ people They were murdered in ten countries in the region —Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and El Salvador.
The situation is especially sensitive in Colombia. In the past year alone, as the report shows, some 148 people with a diverse sexual orientation or gender identity were killed. A reality that shows that despite the advances in legal and constitutional terms that the country has known (where equal marriage and adoption by same-sex couples are recognized), the context on the streets continues to be hostile to the collective.
The figures in the region could even be below reality, in many countries there are no statistics on the subject or many times they are not recognized as “hate crimes” or “crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity”.
In addition, the conditions faced by several countries have worsened the security of LGBTIQ+ people, as is the case in El Salvador. The exceptional regime established by President Nayib Bukele has ended up also affecting the collective.
According to the agency ‘Presents’citing the organization’Love yourself’, The Central American country has documented “at least 41 cases of arbitrary arrests and attacks by public security forces against the sex-diverse population.”
Many cases of violence and hate crimes against LGBTIQ+ people go unpunished. In the case of El Salvador, Of the total number of complaints, only five were filed with the Attorney General’s Office. The foregoing is explained, in large part, by the lack of mechanisms to deal with this type of cases or the discrimination of the entities in charge of conducting investigations and prosecutions.
The pending legal recognition and equal marriage
Despite some progress in the region, there are still countries that prohibit relationships between people of the same gender. In some places, such as Jamaica and Dominica, homosexual relations are still punishable by jail, as shown by Every.lgbt.
Two milestones have marked recent years in Latin America. In Cuba, nearly 4 million people voted in favor of a new family code in 2022 that allows same-sex marriage and adoption.
However, these cases are not a constant in the countries of the region. As the portal shows, in Honduras this is prohibited from 2005 and Paraguay limited marriage in 1992 to couples made up of a man and a woman.
The denial of equal marriage deprives same-sex couples of important legal and social benefits, such as recognition and legal protection of their relationship, access to social security benefits, among others.
Adoption by same-sex couples is also a big pending. Only 16 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean “recognize this right and have legislated in this regard”.
The rights of trans people continue to falter
Recognition of the rights of trans people is also uneven in the region. In Latin America, only 19 of the 51 countries recognize self-perceived gender identity, which means that trans people are not guaranteed the right to legally change their name and gender in all countries. This lack of legal recognition can have serious consequences for trans people, such as difficulties in accessing adequate health services, discrimination in employment and in other areas of daily life, as well as a lack of legal protection against violence and harassment. .
Violence is expressed more harshly on these people. Of those murdered belonging to the LGBTI collective between 2014 and 2020, more than half—that is, 1,223—were trans people.
And as shown by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) -quoted by Global Americans— reveals that the life expectancy of transgender women in the countries of the region is between 30 and 35 years.
However, there are some significant advances. Argentina was a pioneer in the implementation of laws that recognize self-perceived gender identity and guarantee access to medical care and the gender reassignment process. Other countries such as Uruguay, Colombia and Chile have also followed suit and have enacted laws that protect transgender people. These advances show that it is possible to move towards equality and inclusion of trans people in the region.
Spain, the elimination of rainbow flags and the rise of the extreme right
Attacks on the LGBTIQ+ community range from the symbolic to the real. Within the framework of Pride Day, the far-right party Vox has launched an offensive against the display of the rainbow flag in public buildings and town halls that it leads together with the Popular Party (PP), of the traditional right, since last month of May.
In an attempt to erase the LGBTIQ+ symbols from the institutions, Vox has decided to withdraw the banners and even persuade its PP partners to do so. One of these situations, as the newspaper ‘El Pais’ showed, occurred in the Valladolid City Hall. But it spread to other regions and municipalities.
In the Balearic Islands, under the presidency of the far-right Gabriel La Senne, Parliament banished any reference to the commemorations of the day. This position has generated controversy and has been denounced as an attempt to limit the visibility and rights of the LGTBIQ+ collective in the public sphere. Instead, as the newspaper shows, in places where commemorative acts were held, the extreme right promoted actions against them, as in Navarra where Maite Nosti, condemned an alleged “partisan use” of the Chamber “at the service of the LGTBI lobby.”
Spain has made significant progress in protecting community rights. However, the equality and rights of LGTBIQ+ people in Spain also face challenges. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of the extreme right, which has taken positions openly against equality and the rights of this community.
The extreme right in Spain has used speeches and actions that promote discrimination and exclusion of the LGTBIQ+ community. They have challenged equality laws, promoted conversion therapy, and expressed homophobic and transphobic views.
An especially dangerous speech when the Iberian nation faces national elections on July 23, in which the right and the extreme right are the favorites in the polls to govern in coalition. A victory that could pose risks for the LGBTIQ+ community and their rights.
With local media
Source: France 24