3. LGBT rights: the rainbow tide

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Latin American countries have passed some of the world’s most advanced pro-LGBT laws. However, rates of discrimination, violence, and murder affecting gay and trans people are extremely high, especially in Brazil and Central America.

LGBT people are campaigning for same-sex marriage, laws against homophobia and pathologization, and the right to change gender identity by simple administrative procedures, though the churches, both Catholic and Evangelical, present a formidable barrier.

Index

About the Author

Ali Rocha is a news and documentary producer who has contributed to the BBC, Channel Four, ITN, Al Jazeera English and SBS (Australia) on their Brazil coverage since 2003. She is a human rights activist and researches police violence in Brazil.

She now runs social media group Brazil Matters, aimed at drawing international attention to social, environmental and human rights issues in Brazil.

Interviewees

Edgardo Fernández (tango teacher and LGBT activist): interviewed in Buenos Aires on 7 November 2016 by Nina Meghji. Translated by Dominic Power.

Michel Riquelme and Jimena Norambuena (OTD Chile): interviewed in Santiago de Chile on 24 November 2016 by Nina Meghji. Transcribed by Nina Meghji.

Jean Wyllys (PSOL deputy for Rio de Janeiro): interviewed in Rio de Janeiro on 8 December 2016 by Ali Rocha. Translated by Jennifer Alexander and Hugo Moss.

References

NB: All web references were checked and still available in May/June 2018 unless otherwise stated.

AlJazeera (2017) ‘Chile’s Bachelet sends gay marriage bill to congress’, 28 August

Ativistas Independentes (2017) ‘Judith Butler, a propagadora de odio’, 10 November

BBC (2017) ‘Chile leader sends gay marriage bill to congress’, 29 August

Carroll, A. and Mendos, L. R. (2017) State Sponsored Homophobia 2017: A World Survey of Sexual Orientation Laws 2017: Criminalisation, Protection and Recognition, International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), Geneva, May

Chiam, Z., Duffy, S. and González Gil, M. (2017) ‘Trans Legal Mapping Report 2017: Recognition before the Law‘, ILGA, Geneva, November

Cowie, S. (2018) ‘Violent deaths of LGBT people in Brazil hit all-time high’, The Guardian, 22 January

El Destape (2017) ‘El controvertido proyecto de Macri que pone en peligro al matrimonio igualitario

Frayssinet, F. (2014) ‘Comprehensive sex education: a pending task in Latin America’, Inter Press Service

Ghoshal, N. (2018) ‘For LGBT rights, 2018 will be the year of the courts’, Human Rights Watch

Giraldo, I. (2017) ‘The “gender ideology” menace and the rejection of the peace agreement in Colombia’, Discover Society

Jenkin, M. (2016) ‘Electric shocks, rape and submersion: “gay cures” and the fight to end them’, The Guardian, 9 February

La Nación (2009) video fragment of interview with Mauricio Macri

Lindner, J. (2017) ‘CCJ aprova reconhecimento de união estável e casamento entre pessoas do mesmo sexo’, Estadão, 3 May

Moloney, A. (2018) ‘Gays in Ecuador raped and beaten in rehab clinics to “cure” them’, Reuters, 8 February

Phillips, D. (2017) ‘Brazilian judge approves “gay conversion therapy”, sparking national outrage’, The Guardian, 19 September

Pulliam Bailey, S. (2017) ‘How the prosperity gospel is sparking a major change in predominantly Catholic Brazil’, Washington Post, 29 October

Rossi, M. and Novaes, M. (2015) ‘Os direitos básicos aos quais transexuais e travestis não têm acesso’, El País Brasil, 28 August

Seligson, M. and Moreno Morales, D. (2010) ‘Gay in the Americas’, Americas Quarterly

Stewart, K. (2017) ‘School books with section on gender equality cause uproar in Peru’, VICE News

Strobl, T. (2017) ‘Brazil as world LGBT murder capital and Rio’s place in the data’, RioOnWatch

Transgender Europe (2016) ‘Transgender Day of Visibility 2016 – Trans Murder Monitoring update

UN OHCHR (UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights) (2016) ‘“Pathologization – Being lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or trans is not an illness”, for International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia’, 17 May

UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) (n.d.) ‘Comprehensive sexuality education

Videos

Going backstage with Linn da Quebrada

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Linn da Quebrada is a Brazilian actor, singer, composer and transsexual activist who uses São Paulo rap, Rio funk and pop.

Chocolate Remix: Lo que las mujeres quieren

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Lesbian Reggaeton: 'Lo que las mujeres quieren' (What girls want). With English subtitles. Chocolate Remix is the reggaetón project...

The life of Brazil’s Marielle Franco

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Marielle Franco was a rising political star in Brazil: she was an activist, the only Black woman to serve on Rio...

The gay rights movement has swept Latin America

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Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay have legalised same-sex marriage. What explains the advance of gay rights in Latin America, and how far...

Stephen Fry interviews Jair Bolsonaro

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British actor, writer, comedian and gay rights activist interviews Brazilian Congressman Jair Bolsonaro in 2014 to try to find out why he...

Gay Rights in Latin America

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A round-up from May 2015 of the legal position in different Latin American countries and in the US. Video:...

Further reading

General

Jean Wyllys and Brazil

Edgardo Fernández and Argentina

LGBT rights in Chile

News related to this chapter

To end Gender-Based Violence (GBV)

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In November-December 2018 Christian Aid promoted a Month of Awareness of Gender Based Violence, working with its partners in the region, around the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November) and International Human Rights Day (10 December). The Latin American and Caribbean region has the highest rates of violence against women, girls and LGBTI population in the world. Not coincidently, it is also the most unequal region with different layers of intersecting inequalities. In Central America, 2 out of 3 women who die violent deaths are killed because they are women, and in half of all...