Photo: A kiss in the midst of Sunday's gay pride rally down the streets of Caracas (All photos courtesy of Santiago Farías).Organizers of Sunday's 8th Annual Venezuelan LGBT-rights March said they were surprised by the large numbers of people that showed up which they claimed eclipsed last year's estimated attendance of 30,000.
El Universal reports today that Venezuelan gay rights organizations such as Unión Afirmativa, Movimiento Gay Revolucionario and Orgullo GLBT de Venezuela supported the march.
And then there was Amnesty International: "We are not in favor or against, but it's about defending these person's rights," said Manuel Finol, identified as a member of Amnesty International's executive committee.
Jesus Medina, a member of Alianza Lambda - another sponsoring organization - said that President Hugo Chavez' government had strongly supported indigenous communities and Venezuelans of African descent but was still marginalizing the gay community.
"All the marches have taken place under the mandate of President Hugo Chavez and we thank the Mayor's Office which provided support [in the form of] security, sound equipment and the stage," he said, "but there is still no law that protects us against discrimination - To be homophobic and a revolutionary is a contradiction."
Over at Noticiero Digital, Santiago Farías of AFINES Venezuela, said that organizers called for equal rights and the legal recognition of same-sex partnerships (and posted an amazing series of photographs including the ones on this post).
"Following a ruling by [the Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal of Justice] in relation to this topic, [same-sex partners] only can achieve this through the creation of a Common Partnership of Possessions belonging to the couple; a judicial determination that does not satisfy demands by Venezuelan homosexual couples," he said, "and for this reason [marchers] are attempting to elicit another judicial resolution through the National Assembly."
One Venezuelan lesbian rights organization - Fundación Reflejos de Venezuela - was not present. On June 24th they released the following statement:
"The Board and members would like to state: WE DO NOT HAVE any relation, responsibility, nor are we any part of the 8th LGBT Pride March; this is due to the discriminatory, disrespectful and anti-democratic attitude of Mr. Heisler Vaamonde with the backing of the sponsor entity and supporting entities."
No other reasons are given but Mr. Vaamonde is known as a long-time Chavez acolyte who always trumps the president's policies while overlooking his record (or statements) on LGBT rights.
Previously on Blabbeando:
- Top Court says no to same-sex marriages (March 5, 2008)
- Hugo Chavez wants to be Master of His Domain (Dec. 2, 2007)
- Legislative committee says discrimination based on sexual orientation should be outlawed (Oct. 11, 2007)
- President Chavez too macho to be gay (Sept. 16, 2007)
- Embassy in Spain defends Chavez from gay rumors (Sept. 12, 2007)
- Is President Chavez - Gulp! - Gay? (Sept 8, 2007)
- 1,500 naked Venezuelans, Simon Bolivar and a Brooklynite (March 19, 2006)
- Gay politics in Venezuela (Nov. 29, 2005)
- $1M for HIV awareness (but what about the gays?) (Aug. 15, 2005)