This Thursday, May 13, Venezuela’s National Assembly unanimously approved a Draft Agreement to declare May 17 as a national day against hatred and all kinds of discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in Venezuela. In addition, the creation of a sub-committee attached to the Comprehensive Social Development Committee was announced, to be coordinated by deputy Niloha Delgado, to meet the demands of the LGBTQ community.
Delgado, president of the Gender Equality Subcommittee of the Permanent Committee for Comprehensive Social Development, outlined the discrimination suffered by the LGBTQ community in the Fourth Republic and the need to safeguard their rights under equal conditions, as outlined by Article 21 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
This article establishes that “discrimination based on race, sex, creed, social condition, or those that, in general, have as their object or result the nullification or impairment of the recognition, enjoyment or exercise under conditions of equality of the rights and freedoms of every person, shall not be allowed.”
Following the announcement, the parliamentarian explained in detail the need for this group of people to be recognized so that within the framework of equality and respect, they are acknowledged as an integral part of society, and that any type of discrimination that intends to violate their constitutional rights is rejected.
Later, deputy Martín López, representative of the opposition, asserted that “this is the first step to make visible a group that has been discriminated against for years. I am pleased to give this vote of confidence and our support to this agreement, which for us is a challenge that we must assume at this time, to create a voice of those who have no voices. It is time to reach agreements—no more discrimination.”
Deputy Leonardo Montezuma confirmed that it was a special moment for respect, equality, and tolerance, as the Draft Agreement would declare May 17 as the National Day against hatred and all kinds of discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. “To speak to you today of equality, equity, tolerance, and respect is to speak of a new socialist ethos. It speaks of the values of the eternal commander Chávez, and President Nicolás Maduro.”
Speeches aside, the LGBTQ community have not achieved very much in Venezuela, even when compared with other Latin American countries that traditionally have a very strong culture of machismo alongside a powerful lobby by religious groups. Same-sex civil unions, for example, are among the debts that Chavismo owes to the LGBTQ community.
Below is the full unofficial translation of the specified Draft Agreement, submitted to the regular session of Parliament:
AGREEMENT TO DECLARE MAY 17 AS A NATIONAL DAY AGAINST HATE AND ALL KINDS OF DISCRIMINATION FOR SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY, AND GENDER EXPRESSION
That the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is a democratic and social state of law and justice that espouses as superior the values of its orientation, its legal system, and its actualization of life, freedom, justice, equality, solidarity, democracy, and social responsibility
That the Constitution of the Republic recognizes the right of all persons to equality, without discrimination, and that it opposes those actions whose object or result is to nullify or impair the recognition, enjoyment, or exercise of rights and freedoms in conditions of equality
That the Venezuelan State is under the obligation to adopt positive measures to guarantee the equality, real and effective of all people, especially of those people or groups that are discriminated against and marginalized due to conditions related to their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression
That Article 20 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela establishes that everyone has the right to the free development of their personality without any limitations other than those derived from the rights of others and public and social order.
That the constitutional law against hatred, peaceful coexistence, and tolerance, declared May as the national month for the promotion of peace, coexistence, and the fight against intolerance, and prohibited all propaganda, messages and apology for hate on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression
That discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression represents a serious violation of the values, principles and human rights recognized in the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
1- To proclaim May 17 as a national day against hatred and discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, dedicated to the recognition of the equality of people, particularly to the struggles of all against the discrimination and exclusion of people for these reasons
2- To express the maximum recognition and solidarity with the struggles against discrimination, stigmatization, hatred, violence and denial of human rights of people due to their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression
3- To urge public authorities of the State to establish public policies to fight for the equality of all people and against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression
4- The Delegation for LGBTQ Affairs of the National Assembly is created in the permanent committee for comprehensive social development
5- To publish this agreement in the Official Gazette of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Completed, signed and sealed in the Federal Legislative Palace, headquarters of the National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in Caracas, on May 13, 2021
Year 211 of Independence
162 of the Federation
22 of the Bolivarian Revolution
Featured image: The LGBTQ flag raised in Venezuela’s National Assembly. Photo courtesy of @VE_Igualitaria.
(Ultimas Noticias) by Olys Guarate, with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune