Justice ministry heads chosen as marshals for 2017 Diversity Parade

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

For their open support in favor the LGBTIQ community, Cecilia Sánchez and Marco Feoli have been designated marshals of the upcoming Diversity Parade, to be held in San José next June 25.

Ms. Sánchez and Feoli are the current minister and vice-minister of the Ministerio de Justicia y Paz and have been chosen by the organization of the parade for using their political influence to dignify and make visible the needs of vulnerable people.

According to Javier Umaña, one of the organizers, both officials have shown hard work in the defense, promotion and recognition in human rights of historically-discriminated populations, such as inmates and sexually diverse people.

Some of the initiatives Ms. Sánchez and Muñoz have supported in the past are the declaration of the justice and peace ministry facilities as a space free of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

They have also pushed for a reform in the internal regulations of the ministry, in order to extend the benefits of public officers to their same-sex partners.

That way sexually diverse workers are granted days off for marriage, mourning of a significant other  or the use of medical services.

Ms. Sánchez and Feoli also entitled prisoners to enjoy a weekly visitation from their same-sex partners and granted the inmates the right to dress according to the gender they feel identified with.

“I am honored that the efforts we have made in the penitentiary system are acknowledged,” said Ms. Sánchez. “As a country, we move forward when we renounce stigma and prejudice.”

“Let us be clear that our main responsibility is to build a more just society, in which there are no citizens of different categories.” said Feoli.

The Diversity Parade has taken place for the last eight years. It starts at the Leon Cortés statue in La Sabana and crosses all Paseo Colón and part of the Avenida Segunda. During the parade, shows, concerts, food sales, disguise contests and dancing take place.

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