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Santiago, June 252019.

World Sexual Diversity Day and International LGBTI+ Pride Day are celebrated on June 25 and 28, respectively, reminding everyone of the need to continue to support the fight for recognition of basic human rights for the LGBTI+ community.  


International LGBTI+ Pride Day began to be celebrated after the Stonewall riots that took place on June 28, 1969. These were not the first protests or confrontations between the police and the LGBTI+ community, but they have become a symbol of growing awareness and confidence that paved the way for the fight for equality and non-discrimination.

 

The origin of the gay flag dates back to 1978, when the Gay Pride Parade organizers in California asked artist Gilbert Baker to design a flag that would represent the LGBTI+ community in the United States.


It is said that the rainbow flag was inspired by Judy Garland’s The Wizard of Oz song “Over the Rainbow.” It originally had eight bands to represent the characteristics of the community: sexuality (pink), life (red), health (orange), sunlight (yellow), nature (green), magic (turquoise), serenity (blue) and purple (spirit). However, a decision was made to remove the pink and turquoise years later, leaving the flag with six bands.


As part of this struggle, JSCA has implemented a gender policy and has made a commitment to adopt inclusive, non-sexist language in all of its documents, lectures and activities, recognizing the importance of this method for recognizing rights and respecting sexual diversity.


This is also in keeping with the mission of raising awareness among OAS members of the importance of access to justice for all. Below we present some important information on the situation of LGBTI+ people in the Americas related to justice:


 1. Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay and Ecuador have legalized marriage equality. (ILGA, 2019)
2. Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Uruguay allow for civil unions between same sex couples (ILGA, 2019).
3. Only two Latin American countries allow same sex couples to adopt children (Argentina and Uruguay) and two more allow it based on rulings issued by their courts (Brazil and Colombia). (ILGA, 2019)
4. Only two Latin American countries have prohibited conversion therapy (Brazil and Ecuador). (ILGA, 2019)
5. According to Mónica Flores, one of the founders of Fundación Renacer, "Many trans children do not live to age 14. Many die by suicide or suffer significant harm to their health by that age.” (BBC, 2018)
6. In its Report on Violence against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Persons, the IACHR condemned 11 OAS member states, all of them in the Caribbean, for maintaining laws that criminalize consensual sexual relations between adults of the same sex in private, which also impacts trans and non-gender conforming people (IACHR, 2018).
7. In the United States, seven states representing 17.4% of the total population passed “No Promo Homo Laws” preventing teachers from talking about intimacy between two people of the same sex in a positive way (IACHR, 2018).
8. In 2016, the Port au Prince commissioner canceled the Massimadi Art and Film Festival, which celebrates Haiti’s LGBTI+ Afro-Caribbean community, arguing that “he was protecting public morals.” (IACHR, 2018).

We invite everyone to review the IACHR document on recognizing the rights of LGBTI persons (LGBTI-ReconocimientoDerechos2019.pdf) and the new practical guide Towards the Effective Protection of LGBTI Persons Deprived of Liberty: A Monitoring Guide (https://apt.ch/content/files_res/lgbti_apt_es.pdf).

At JSCA, we ask all justice operators to actively participate in the implementation of the gender perspective in legal practice, eradicating discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in all processes.

 

 

 

 

 

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