Social Issues

Pride parades across South America celebrate diversity, call for inclusion, respect

Quito/Lima/Panama City/La Paz/Asunción, July 1 (EFE).- Thousands took part in Pride parades across South America with large and colorful demonstrations in the major cities of Ecuador, Peru, Panama, Bolivia and Paraguay on Saturday.

In the Ecuadorian capital, slogans resounded on respect, rights and tolerance towards the LGBT+ collective.

The march in Quito was supported by the city’s authorities, including mayor Pabel Muñoz, and that of Pichincha province, whose capital is also Quito, Paola Pabón.

A drum band led the parade, which also included floats and troupes, the most striking being the Drag Queen group.

The caravan, which traveled through several streets of the city, arrived at the House of Ecuadorian Culture complex, where a festival was held.

In Guayaquil, the Pride march took place in the downtown area and ended at the foot of the Santa Ana Hill, where a festival was also held.

“Education, employment and justice” are the main demands of this community that still fights for the acceptance of “single-parent adoption” and the recognition of “diverse families, especially trans families,” activist Dianne Rodríguez said.

In the historic center of the Peruvian capital of Lima, thousands demanded “respect, tolerance and inclusion.”

The parade kicked off in the central Campo de Marte park and brought together members and activists of the LGTB+ community, along with artists, celebrities and politicians.

Jorge Apolaya, spokesperson for the LGBTI Pride March of Lima collective, told EFE that the 21st march in Peru took place “in a very adverse context for LGBTI rights, especially because of a political class that tries to take away democracy.”

“We are facing a country that refuses to see LGBTI human rights. In that sense, we are almost the only country that has not legislated in favor of these LGBTI human rights, we do not have an equal marriage law, we do not have a gender identity law, we do not have a law that criminalizes hate crimes,” he said.

For this reason, “this march becomes a space for demands, but also a space of revolution to say that we are here and that our presence is important in order to demand changes in the country,” Apolaya added.

Colorful and peaceful parades were also held in other cities across the country, including Arequipa and Cusco in the south, and Chiclayo in the north.

The Pride parade in Panama called for respect for the diversity of families based on the recognition that marriage between a man and a woman was not the only reality and demanded that civil unions between same-sex couples be legalized in the country.

Hundreds of people dressed in rainbow colors danced and paraded in the historic district of the Panamanian capital to the sound of orchestras, traditional music and DJs.

“It is a moment of celebration, of being able to be free, of being able to walk in the streets, of exercising our right to free movement, to freedom of association, to freedom of expression, non-discrimination,” the president of the Iguales Foundation, Iván Chanis, told EFE before the start of the march.

In late July 2008, Panama became the latest country in Latin America to decriminalize homosexuality, repealing a 1949 article criminalizing “sodomy.”

This article contradicted the constitution, which states that there shall be “no discrimination on the basis of race, birth, disability, social class, sex, religion and political ideas.”

However, a few months ago the Supreme Court of Panama closed the door to equal marriage after ruling against lawsuits filed since 2016 that prevented the recognition of several cases of same-sex marriages conducted overseas.

Dozens of members of the LGBT+ community participated in the Pride march in Bolivia, waving hundreds of rainbow flags of different sizes throughout the parade, which began in El Prado in La Paz and ended in Plaza Camacho in the city’s center.

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