Human rights groups plan events to promote GLBT rights

Human rights organizations are planning events on Thursday to raise awarness of gay and lesbian rights and the discrimination homosexuals face vis-á-vis the Peruvian State and society. Events on Valentines Day are being organized by the Homosexual Movement of Lima, MHOL, and the Peruvian Network of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transvestites, with support from other organizations.

Included in the activities is the “Love doesn’t Discriminate” campaign, which promotes the right of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transvestites, GLBT, to show affection in public places without being subject to discrimination. The event is being held for the sixth consecutive year in Parque del Amor, or Park of Love, in Lima’s Miraflores district, according to MHOL.

MHOL estimates at least 40 GLBT couples will congregate in Parque del Amor and at 6:00 p.m. they will demonstrate the rights of their community by kissing their partners.

A member of MHOL, Giovanny Romero, told daily El Comercio “the State and Peruvian society deny homosexuals their rights and, in many cases, they also deny same sex couples the right to live freely, to be visible and simple things like quietly holding hands in the streets.”

Members of MHOL are regular victims of hate crimes and police discrimination says a 2005 MHOL report. Between January and November 2007 there were 500 registered attacks motivated by the victims sexual orientation, daily La República reported MHOL legal representative Rafael Ynga saying.

State discrimination is also common. In October 2007, Peru’s Congressional Commission on Foreign Relations drew criticism by restricting the rights of GLBT’s in the Ibero-American Convention on Youth Rights.

According to MHOL the resolution proposed by the Commission “implied that heterosexuality is ‘natural’ and that homosexuality is unnatural, therefore excluding GLBT adolescents from the possibility of fully enjoying their rights.”

“We are promoting in Congress the creation of a law to eliminate discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Romero. “The principal demand of our movement is no discrimination.”

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