End the hate and the killings, Honduran gay community pleads

[Translation of an article from Revistazo.com of Honduras for May 17.]

By Eleana Borjas

Some 80 countries in the world still have laws against homosexual behavior while in others, with or without laws, people with a preference for their own gender are persecuted, assaulted, and even murdered. Honduras is no exception.

Homophobia is defined as aversion, hatred, prejudice or discrimination against homosexual men or women. This includes bisexual and transexual people and those with outlooks or manners usually associated with the opposite sex.

With the goal of ending attacks on their human rights by a large sector of the world’s population, May 17 has been declared International Day against Homophobia.

The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transexual – LGBT – population, joined together as the Arcoiris [Rainbow] group, Asociación Kukulcán, Colectivo Violeta and the Asociación Jóvenes en Movimiento, with the support of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, have led a campaign to promote the rights of the LGBT population.

They all took to the streets and peacefully demanded respect for their human rights, since many of their numbers have been brutally assassinated because of their sexual orientation.

They accused members of the police force of being their principal enemies. “We want our right to life to be respected, for the police to stop killing homosexuals in Honduras,” demanded Arcoiris, one of the best known organization in the country.

On the occasion of a visit by the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, they asked Porfirio Lobo to declare “Honduras to be free of homophobia, a country where there can no longer be discrimination because of sexual orientation.”

This is the second year the Day against Homophobia has been observed throughout the world; in the name of this cause, many people have been the victims of abuse, sexual assaults and crimes in Honduras

Coup d’état aggravates plight of homosexuals

The organizations declared that the vulnerable situation of the the LGBT population has gotten worse because of the national political crisis that began June 28 of last year with the coup d’état.

Since that date, 24 violent deaths of LGBT people have been reported, some of them activists and defenders of human rights. The organizations emphasized that the lack of sex education and sensitization make Hondurans less tolerant of sexual diversity, which brings about more hatred and intolerance.

“For sexually diverse organizations in Honduras, this date represents a social protest and an opportunity to demand a response to the violations of human rights and hate crimes against LGBT people and an end to impunity, the creation of a law against all forms of discrimination because of sexual orientation,” the demonstrators declared in a public statement.