Friday, July 06, 2012

Ecuadorian police use force to break up anti-homophobia rally in Guayaquil

Just as I pushed 'post' on that last story about an Ecuadorian court ruling allowing a lesbian couple to register their civil union in the nation's Civil Registry, I was alerted to a number of Tweets sent by a participant at a protest against homophobia that took place earlier today in Guayaquil, Ecuador:
  • "Municipal police are KICKING us out of the rally against homophobia"
  • "Municipal police tried to take away one of the cameras we used at the rally against homophobia"
  • "An hour earlier there was a pastor holding a Bible trying to convert us. He wasn't thrown out."
My friend Silvia Buendía also posted photos of the police intervention on her Twitter account including the one I posted here.

The protest had been announced earlier in the week the Ecuadorian press had written about it as well so it shouldn't have taken the police by surprise.

Protest participants were rallying against comments made by a visiting Argentinian "bioethics psychologist expert" named Jorge Scala who made several derogatory comments about the Ecuadorian LGBT community.

Speaking at an event titled "Gender Equality: The Destruction of the Family", Mr. Scala alleged that "under gender ideology we cannot complement each other; everything is worthy and valid: Marriage, prostitution, bestiality, having sex with dead people."

He also stated that children raised by same-sex couples actually lacked a true parent because "a million gays won't amount to a single man and a million lesbians won't amount to a single woman."

Apparently in past visits to Ecuador the good "psychologist" has also claimed he can cure people from homosexuality.

"It's the second year that this self-described faith-healer from the church has said such things," said Lía Burbano, president of the Ecuadorian Lesbian Association who participated in the rally.

Police did step in eventually and were able to shut down the rally arguing that organizers had not received permission to stage it.  Organizers, who noted that the San Francisco Park in which he rally took place was a public area argued that they had the right to congregate in a public space.

Supposedly, Ecuador's 2008 constitution was the first one in the Latin American region to enshrine language that made it unconstitutional to discriminate against individuals based on sexual orientation.  There is still a long way from those constitutional principles to the street.

UPDATE: Video of the protest and the police disruption...


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