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Queer couples in Peru tie the knot in symbolic Valentine’s Day ceremony to protest ban on equal marriage

Vic Parsons February 18, 2020
Peru: LGBT couples symbolically marry to protest ban on equal marriage

A gay couple kisses during a fake gay wedding in Lima, on Valentin's day in 2010. (ERNESTO BENAVIDES/AFP via Getty Images)

Eleven LGBT+ couples exchanged vows in a symbolic Valentine’s Day ceremony to call for marriage equality in Peru.

The annual event protests the fact that Peru, a largely Catholic nation, is one of just a handful of Latin American countries that does not at least partially recognise same-sex marriages.

Held at a park in the Miraflores district of Peru’s capital, Lima, the Valentine’s Day event was called “Love does not discriminate”.

“We are here more than anything for a symbolic marriage,” said Juan Carlos Martinez, one-half of one of the couples who exchanged vows.

“It is like a protest to the Peruvian state because it is really time for the country to have a civil union marriage which we, as Peruvians, really deserve and have the right to receive,” Martinez added.

The event called on Peru to join South American nations that have legalised same-sex marriage in recent years, including Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Colombia.

Peru: City official fighting for equal marriage.

A lawyer named Susel Paredes and her wife, Gracia Aljovin, are fighting to legalise same-sex marriage in Peru.

Paredes and her wife married in Miami in 2016 and have since been campaigning to get the union recognised in the heavily Catholic, conservative country.

On April 4 2019, a local court asked authorities to treat the couple’s marriage like they would any other, stating that not to do so would be unconstitutional.

Paredes had disputed a decision by Peru’s national identification register (Reniec), to reject her request of marriage validation.

“We want to trigger a legal process that moves us toward obtaining the equal right to marriage in Peru,” Paredes told Reuters.

In an interview with local media Paredes made an appeal to other gay people in the country. “Christ said the truth will set you free. That’s why I call on you to come out of the closet,” she said.

“Who can be happy leading two lives?”

More: Catholic, equal marriage, Peru, valantine's day

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