First lesbian couple in Colombia high office comes ‘out of the cabinet’

Posted on Aug 29 2014 - 3:13pm by Today News
Gina Parody (L) and Cecilia Alvarez

The Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism talked about her relationship with Minister of Education on Thursday, in response to questions about her sexuality.

“I wonder why men are not asked this question? How many gay men have there been the government?” said Cecilia Alvarez, who had never spoken about her private life before, and praised the president for never having interfered, either.

Alvarez was being interviewed on RNC radio Thursday when the host broached the topic of her relationship with fellow minister Gina Parody, wondering aloud if it were a message to the nation or to the anti-gay elements of government.

“I thank the President for never, ever, getting into the personal issue, and just seeing our professional qualities,” said Alvarez, who was Minister of Transportation during Santos’ first administration. “I think we should be judged on the quality of our work.”

“The President has always viewed our capabilities. Gina has demonstrated that she is a hard worker to the President with the progress she’s made in the country. Santos never considered personal issues, and based the appointments of on qualification,”said Correa.

“The president, like the human being that he is, has always talked about my abilities, and I imagine that in the case of Gina too, “Alvarez said.

Correa is the first openly homosexual official in the national government, according to La Nacion.

Conservative elements in government

Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez  is the highest-ranking official to openly and forcefully oppose himself to Colombia’s laws on abortion, gay marriage, and euthanasia, all the while qualifying these as attacks on the nucleus of society, the family.

Ordoñez appealed for the annulment of ruling C-577 of 2011, which allows the union – though not marriage – of homosexual couples. His appeal, which asserted that those conducting gay unions were acting against the constitution, was rejected by the Constitutional Court for being “unjust.”

Ordoñez published a book in 2003 entitled “Towards the free evolution of our animality,” in which homosexuals are described as being un-natural.

Violence

The systematic violence against Colombia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) population has worsened in recent years, according to a report released by the Ministry of the Interior in July.

According to the report, the LGBT society is especially exposed to death threats along the Caribbean coast, where illegal armed groups create a repressive and violent environment for those outside the perceived norm.

On July 9, the Rastrajos drug trafficking ring sent death threats to human rights workers, declaring that anyone who defended “farmers, displaced people, gays, lesbians, and rape victims” as military targets to be assassinated, reported LGBT advocacy organization Caribe Afirmativo.

MORE: LGBT rights defenders receive death threats in northern Colombia

Sources

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