Government marks day against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia

The central government took actions Tuesday in support of gays, lesbians and transgender individuals.

Officials said that a decree was being prepared for publication that would seek to eradicate discrimination based on sexual orientation or sexual identity. Nine ministries are publishing internal regulations to that effect and seven more are in the process of doing so, said the central government.

The decree is No. 38999, which also prohibits teachers in the public schools from encouraging discrimination.

The government is also seeking advisory opinions from the Interamerican Court of Human Rights to determine if existing treaties protect the inheritance of partners of the same sex.

The court also is to be asked if individuals have the right to modify their name based on their sexual preference and if it is necessary that this be done judicially or via a rapid process.

The executive branch may construct proposed laws based on the international court responses.

One law already has been proposed.  Marvin Atencio Delgado of the Partido Acción Ciudadana is presenting bill No. 19.841 that would allow a person to reflect in their identity documents the gender they would like. The bill, if passed, would cut red tape.

Tuesday was the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. In the U.S., President Barack Obama said the country is committed to the principle that everyone

must be treated fairly and with respect, but there is work to be done.

During an unrelated hearing Tuesday on the U.S. Senate floor, Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada took the opportunity to say he stands with the transgender community. Reid condemned discrimination against the gay, lesbian and transgender community and said North Carolina’s controversial bathroom law is the kind of discriminatory action that has no place in the 21st century.

The federal government is suing the state of North Carolina over its so-called bathroom bill, saying it breaks federal anti-discrimination laws. The state law says that persons must use the bathroom of the gender listed on their birth certificate.

Meanwhile in Kosovo, a few hundred people held their first pride parade seeking acceptance and respect of their rights in the conservative society.

In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced legislation to protect transgender people from hate speech and discrimination.

Trudeau said in a speech at a Montreal event hosted by the gay rights group Foundation Emergence that “despite all the obstacles we have overcome, the battles we have won, and the victories we have celebrated, we are still witnesses and, in some cases, victims of injustices.”

International Day Against Homophobia is celebrated in more than 120 countries each year. It was created in 2004 to draw political leaders’ attention to the violence and discrimination that gay, lesbian and transgender people face.

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