Venezuelans from across the sex and gender expression spectrum converged in Caracas on Sunday July 3rd to demand greater social inclusion and equal rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. The march, held annually in the South American nation’s capital, accompanied a week long series of events around the International Day against Homophobia (June 28th).
While the majority of Venezuelans partake in Pride as a great party in the streets, many organizations take seriously the charge to make their communities seen, and defend their rights while also celebrating their diversity. During the Bolivarian Revolution, the sex and gender diversity movement has made considerable strides and former President Hugo Chavez publicly recognized the community as historically marginalized and a vulnerable sector of society in his Homeland Plan and advocated for specialized public policies to undo decades of political exclusion.
Earlier in the week, a coalition of organizations went to the Supreme Court headquarters in Caracas to continue collecting signatures in favor of the legal proposal for same sex civil marriage. The legislative inicitative has received recent opposition from sectors of the Evangelical Church urging the Supeme Court to reverse its decision in May that declared unconstitutional Venezuela’s Civil Code which defines legal only unions between a man and a woman.
Venezuela’s institutions continue to work in favor of the sex and gender diversity community. In May, Caracas was declared free of lesbo-homo-transphobia by the capital’s mayor Daniel Aponte who issued Decree 006. On June 28th, the rainbow flag was lifted alongside the Venezuelan national flag at the Caracas Government building across the city’s central square, Plaza Bolivar.