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SOMOSGAY Simon Cazal, SOMOSGAY

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The panelists shared their own reflections on the topic
PARAGUAY: SOMOSGAY held the 1st Discussion on Homophobia and Media in Paraguay

in PARAGUAY, 11/06/2009

At the location of the Foundation Le Club Francais, SOMOSGAY organized the 1st Gattering/ Discussion on Homophobia and the Media. The table panel included major media journalists in Paraguay, Enrique Vargas Peña (970 AM), Germain Martinez Vierci (Radio 1000), Daniela Candia (SNT, Channel 9), and Judith Mary Vera (Director of National Radio Paraguay). The event sought to reflect on the impact of images and expressions disseminated through the mass media in the fight against homophobia.

 SOMOSGAY with this event marks its commitment to assist the media, journalists and persons working with the media in their efforts to opinion formers. Part of the event was broadcast live by Radio Nacional del Paraguay, and covered by Channel 13, a national television network.

The panelists shared their own reflections on the topic:
German Martinez Vierci said that discrimination does not exist in the same way in the media today. He reflected that it is very difficult to find today, openly homophobic statements in the media or part of journalists. At another point he said that Paraguayan society would accept today with no major problems marriage between same sex people, but that the issue of adoption is still a challenge. He stressed that our society is just beginning to change and that this change came from the last ten years, a relatively short period.

Meanwhile, Judith Maria Vera, Director of National Radio told about that the transformation of this radio station to a public radio and its opening to the community. She says that this process serve to strengthen democracy and citizen’s information offering to SOMOSGAY the chance to take a air space in the string. She further stated the need to create new spaces for discussion of common ethical standards for communicators and the media, saying that such events and are key areas for reflection.

Enrique Vargas Peña talked about the “struggles” LGBT serve as liberalizing elements of society, emphasizing that freedom is key to building a more democratic society. “This can be attributed to the monotheistic religions to create the cultural matrix of discrimination that exists today. In our case we owe it to the Catholic. Society in general does not win anything with discrimination. Only religions insist on the discrimination to validate their speeches”.

He also stated that homophobia takes a new form very striking in the supposed protection to morality and decency. ”Be careful with what care. The instructing children on discrimination is very common after that speech. “ ”By suppressing public expressions of affection between same sex people, the only thing that is conducive to reinforcing the double standard and builds the habit of lying and hypocrisy,” he added.

Daniela Candia referred to repeatedly been ignored highly relevant topics of LGBT reality. He recalled that the famous case of the 108, was not included in the final report of the Commission for Truth and Justice, and no media echoed the claims filed by the offense. She also take an opinion upon the conditioning that often requires trade on news or events that can be reported. She highlights the need for journalists and media have guides or materials to help them deal in a more LGBT-friendly way.

The participation of the audience was very active, due to the massive turnout; the duration was extended to just over two hours.

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