Monday, June 29, 2009

Dominican Republic: Police break up gay pride gathering

Under the headline "'Democratic Modernity' and homophobic repression in the Dominica Republic", today's Diario Digital has published a disturbing OpEd by Denise Paiewonsky, which alleges that a small gay pride gathering that took place Saturday evening in Santo Domingo was interrupted and broken down by local police officers (the paper also publishes several photos, including the one I am posting here).

In the piece, Paiewonsky says that, even though LGBT Dominicans have celebrated a number of public gay pride events every June since 2001, there hasn't been a single event in which organizers have not run into opposition by Dominican authorities in the form of permit delays and denials and outright interventions, as on Saturday.

In this case, authorities had denied a request from Santo Domingo's Metropolitn Church to hold a gathering at Duarte Park and host a religious event in observance of gay pride on Saturday. Despite the lack of a permit, a few LGBT individuals decided to gather at the park and celebrate, which led to the police intervention:
During the night of Saturday the 27, authorities proceeded to undertake another showy police operation, surrounding the park with agents from the National Policeand Politur and police vehicles with emergency lights on, while uniformed agents took photos of those who were present with the clear purpose of intimidation
Paiewonsky says that Saturday's police proceedings are not an isolated case and are, instead, part of a pattern which does not stop at permit denials, but also include instances of arbitrary police action against gay establishments and threats to shut down events such as gay beauty pageants (see previous posts from Blabbeando on some of those instances below).

Paiewonsky says that no country should call itself a modern democracy when the rights of some citizens are consistently under attack by the authorities and urges those who call themselves champions of democracy to acknowledge that there is injustice against LGBT Dominicans and a need to address it immediately.

Previously on Blabbeando:

1 comment:

libhom said...

It reminds me of Ft. Worth.