The Latin American and Caribbean Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGALAC) repudiates the self-styled “pro-life”, “pro-family” groups and coalitions that have been manifesting themselves in the region through coordinate actions that foster hate speech and violence against women and LGBTI people, objecting to the rights, legislations and public policies that are based in the acknowledgment and respect towards their sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions.
Rights that have been conquered after years of wide-ranging social demands—especially from feminist and LGBTI movements—, recognized not only by several juridical instruments and human rights conventions (regional as well as international), but also by the constitutions of different countries, in pursuit of inclusive democracies and secular states, respectful of plurality, diversity, equality and non-discrimination principles.
As part of ILGALAC, we are deeply concerned about the endorsement these groups’ parades are getting from governments and institutions, that often supply them with the logistical resources and advertising support they need to increase the participation of citizens in them. Notwithstanding, human rights organizations have been pointing out the fallacies of their arguments and denouncing the misogynistic and LGTBI-phobic components of their announcements, which, on the grounds of pursuing the protection of life and traditional families, aim at restricting women’s autonomy and promoting violence and hate against LGBTI people –and against the diversity in family configurations– jeopardizing thus the progress made so far in equality policies.
The so-called “Pro-life” / “Pro-family” organizations are pushing a conservative agenda supported mainly by catholic and evangelist leaders, and by some politicians that are dismissive of state secularism and human rights frames. These organizations’ discourses breed ignorance towards diversity and encourage hate, exclusion, discrimination, and endanger the security and even the life of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans and intersex persons. This violent situation is reflected in the alarming rate of hate crimes registered in our entire region, which are on the increase thanks to the kind of initiatives as the ones hereby reported and the concomitant criminalization of same-sex relationship and non-conforming gender identities and expressions, as registered by ILGA’s State Sponsored Homophobia Report and IACHR’S Violence Against LGTBI Persons in the Americas, among others.
Josefina Valencia, ILGALAC’s Regional Co-Secretary, has declared that “It is necessary that the states abide by the highest human rights standards and keep on working in favour of transforming the binary and misogynistic conceptions that are still operative in their countries, throughout education, public policies and communication campaigns that lay the foundation for a human rights culture that is respectful of autonomy, diversity and equality, as the necessary basis to eradicate inequality.
We therefore make this regional action alert calling on all Latin American and Caribbean civil societies, human rights organizations, the press and social institutions to mobilize against any action that promotes violence, discrimination and non-recognition for women rights and LGBTI rights, and demand that the states adopt urgent measures to ensure the protection of LGBTI people, enforce the recognition of all their rights and provide concrete answers to all forms of violence, exclusion and stigma against LGBTI people, which violate the democratic principles of equality and non-discrimination.
Pedro Paradiso Sottile, ILGALAC’s Executive Director has stated: “We must confront the terrible violations against human rights that we suffer on the basis of our sexual orientation, gender identities and their various expressions; we must demand that the states guarantee the full exercise of all human rights in accordance with the democratic and constitutional principle of equality and non-discrimination; these rights are being scorned by the discriminatory initiatives taken by these coalitions, that promote hate and violence towards all citizenship. ILGALAC will report these incidents and make the appropriate submissions to the LGBTI Reporter of the International Human Rights Commission (IHRC), and to other regional and international organizations as well, in order to make sure the states that belong to this region adopt urgent reparative measures, in compliance with the American Convention on Human Rights, and assume the international responsibility for human rights violations against LGBTI people, promoted by these groups and coalitions”.