Thursday, February 23, 2006

Gays can serve on cabinet, says Peruvian presidential candidate

"I am not in favor of marriage between homosexuals, but I believe in repecting individualities," said left-leaning Peruvian presidential candidate Ollanta Humala today at a press conference as reported by EFE. "We should do something similar to France, where treaties [between same-sex couples] are permitted. Even if I don't believe, on a personal basis, that it should be equal to marriage, the rights of gay couples should be recognized."

According to EFE, Humala also said he would accept gays in his presidential cabinet: "What is important to me is the way that a person will undertake his responsibilities and if he is a patriot."

Ollanta, who is running a strong second to a right-leaning Congresswoman named Lourdes Flores Nano, is best known for his military career in which he fought the remnants of the violent Shining Path guerrillas, and for leading a military uprising against deposed president Alberto Fujimori. Recently he has been dogged by allegations of his participation in human rights violations during his military career which have started to affect him at the polls.

His left-wing ideologies, populist nationalism and support for nationalizing Peruvian business interests have led political analysts to compare him to Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and Bolivian president Evo Morales, with whom he shares an alliegance to his indigenous Inca roots. Closer to his military background, Humala also told EFE (according to today's article) that he was against the legalization of drugs and also pledged to legalize the death penalty for cases involving the rape of minors.


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