Same-sex couples in Colombia stage kiss-a-thon
Dozens of same-sex couples in Colombia kissed outside a shopping centre on Wednesday (April 17) as part a protest for LGBT+ rights in the country.
The demonstration, which has been dubbed a “kiss-a-thon” by the media, was held at Andino shopping centre, the same place where two gay men were harassed only days before.
The gay couple called the police to report the perpetrator only to find themselves fined with indecent exposure instead.
“Kissing someone is no crime,” Paola Gutierrez, 21, told the Associated Press at the protest. “All we want is for there to be less divisions in this society, and no discrimination against people over their sexual preferences.”
Homosexuality is perceived negatively in colombia
Despite being more liberal than many other countries in South America, the LGBT+ community still face many incidents of discrimination.
Gutierrez said she still receives street harassment from men while holding hands with her girlfriend.
LGBT+ people in Colombia also face the threat of violence.
A study last year showed that over 100 members of the LGBT+ community were murdered in Colombia in 2017 despite a significant drop the country’s murder rate.
“All we want is for there to be less divisions in this society, and no discrimination against people over their sexual preferences.”
— Paul Gaviria
Colombia’s president’s adviser on human rights, Paul Gaviria, said the country was committed to improving the treatment of the LGBT+ community.
“The murders of LGBTI people pain us,” Gaviria explained. “We need that violence stops being what defines us as a country. Nothing can and should be above the respect for life.”
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LGBT+ Rights in colombia
Over the past few years there has been some progress in LGBT+ rights in the country.
In March last year, Angélica Lozano Correa became the first openly LGBT person to be elected as senate.
In 2016, the government permitted same-sex couples to adopt and marry.
And in 2015, transgender people were granted permission to change their gender on official documents.