Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Leading Guatemalan newspaper pranks gays, tells them they can marry

In Latin America, April Fools' Day doesn't come in April - nor is it called "April Fools' Day"... discuss.

Actually, it's called "Innocents' Day" and it comes around every December 28th.

Anyhow, considering all the hoopla surrounding the decision last week by Mexico City's Legislative Assembly to grant gays the right to marry and adopt, a Guatemalan newspaper thought that it would be hilarious to prank Guatemalan gay couples yesterday and make them believe that their government had also granted them the right to marry.

In an article titled "The gays will be able to create a family in Guatemala", El Periódico reported that Guatemalan president Álvaro Colom had broken away from his past and promised to promote a law making it easier for gays to marry. President Colom, according to the article, had hosted a surprise Christmas dinner with the country's LGBT leadership on Saturday and had been able to work out every difference that the LGBT rights movement might have held with his government. The article also said that most of the government's ministers had been present at the dinner, including the ministers of Defense, Education and Athletics, and that Colom had taken the opportunity to personally apologize for making comments against the LGBT community in the past.

In addition, the paper said that the Guatemalan president vowed to institute a series of measures to prevent discrimination against the LGBT community in the country, and that he would require any private institution doing business with the country to prove that at least 10% of its workforce was LGBT.

But, wait! It was all a prank!

In the last sentence in the article, the paper said "Lastly, the leader asked all communication media representatives to distribute the news until today, December 28th, Innocents' Day", the only sign that readers had been had.

A few readers caught up with the prank leaving messages behind calling it in poor taste. Others thought it was the real deal, including Guatemalan homophobes who called the news a travesty. And yet, so far, there has been no apology forthcoming from the paper's editors.



Jesus Chairez said...

What a**holes the el Periodico are. Treating the GLBT community like 2nd class citizens.

Thoryke said...

Well, one potentially useful side effect would be if I could find out what my relatives there thought of the article -- it would make deciding to come out to them a more informed decision! [As it is, I don't see them often enough for it to be an issue, but it would be nice to travel there someday with my beloved and NOT have to hide the real relationship.