by Sabine Hannakampf
Because Pope Francis advocates civil partnership, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro is considering the adoption of a law on marriage equality in Venezuela.
At an event with representatives of his ruling Socialist Party on October 22, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he “has friends and acquaintances who are very happy with what the Pope said yesterday.” This refers to statements made by the Pope in a recent documentary film by Yevgeny Afineevsky, “Francesco”. In it Francis spoke out in favor of the registered partnership of homosexuals.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has asked the National Assembly to discuss same-sex marriage after Pope Francis supported same-sex civil unions https://t.co/RLamto0uLJ
— Thomson Reuters Foundation News (@TRF_Stories) October 23, 2020
It is the first time in history that a Pope has expressed his support for the recognition of LGBTIQ* relationships. For a country where 96 percent of the population is Roman Catholic and the Pope is held in high esteem, apparently enough to seriously address this issue.
Venezuela’s parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place as planned on 6th December. Maduro called on the country’s National Assembly to discuss the law after the elections in the new term. “I will leave this task, the task of LGBT marriage, to the next National Assembly”. he said.
The opposition parties, which currently hold the largest number of seats in the National Assembly, have already announced that they will boycott the December parliamentary elections because they expect that Maduro will manipulate the elections in his favor.
Queer rights in Venezuela
The LGBTIQ* community in Venezuela has very few rights. A constitutional amendment passed in 1999 defines marriage as solely “between a man and a woman,” same-sex couples are not allowed to adopt children, and laws on discrimination in the workplace in Venezuela refer only to sexual orientation, not gender identity. Furthermore, the so-called “conversion therapy” is still legal in Venezuela.
To make matters worse, the queer community, especially trans* persons, same-sex couples and HIV-positive people, are the victims of the government crisis, which has expanded into an economic and humanitarian crisis in recent years.
If Maduro’s project is successfully implemented, Venezuela would be the sixth country in South America, after Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Uruguay, to legalise gay marriage.
- ashwin-vaswani-1077937-unsplash: by A. Waswani / CC0
- Nicolás_Maduro_2019_Inauguration: By: Presidencia El Salvador / flickr.com / CC0
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