On May 17, 1990, the General Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) eliminated homosexuality from the list of mental diseases. This May 17 [*], the commemoration of the 26th anniversary must have the objective to coordinate all type of actions to denunciate discrimination against homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexual and intersexual, and to advance in their struggle for rights around the world.
By PT Costa Rica.
*The article was written before this date.
Sadly, this matter is still an issue in our country. The first example of discrimination and invisibility of LGBTI population is the lack of studies and census to have an estimate in size, composition, geographical distribution, conditions, situation and actual needs of this population in Costa Rica. According to the 2013 data provided by the CCSS (Social Security) to the Legislative Assembly, there were around 54 thousand homosexual couples. The CIPAC (Center for Research and Promotion of Human Rights in Central America) affirms that between 5% and 7% of men define themselves as gay.
Besides, in labor context, it is harder to express one’s sexual orientation because it may lead to difficulty getting a job post, to being fired or to suffer any type of discrimination or rejection. Since approximately 28% of the workers have witnessed some sort of discrimination or aggression due to sexual orientation or gender identity, according to an IWO study.
We must retake the streets
In 2014, Luis Guillermo Solis was elected president. There were hopes that with the government intentions and the institutions he would advance in the LGBTI agenda. Fulfilling some of the demands and vindications regarding same-sex marriage and gender identity recognition for the transgender population.
Today, after 4 years, the advances have proven insufficient. One of the great achievements was the #24 consultation to the IACHR, who ruled in favor of both subjects in January. However, afterward the Executive, instead of taking this statement as a decree, sent it to the Constitutional Chamber (Sala IV) and the TSE (the Supreme Electoral Court of Costa Rica) to determine want was to be done before the ruling. Both institutions stated the Executive is responsible for giving course to the judgment.
In the meantime, there are thousands of people suffering and seeing their rights disrespected through unemployment, mistreatment and discrimination.
On this May 8, a new hope reappears on the PAC advancing in the LGBTI agenda in the country, now with Carlos Alvarado in office. Even more so given there is a homosexual representative of this party in the legislative plenary. Only 6 days after being in office, the TSE stated they would eliminate the registered sex from the ID cards, but this is only a superficial measure for the transgender population. It does not acknowledge the expressed, felt and decided sex, since the record will still show the sex. At the same time, the Court declared once again that any decision on same-sex marriage is not in their competence, leaving the responsibility to other state bodies, to continue in a never-ending game.
Government and institutions are very determined on the negotiation with Piza (PUSC), the Partido Restauración Nacional (a Christian party) and the entrepreneurs to apply a tax reform and a series of measures against workers, which also increase the exposure of the LGBTI and the most vulnerable sectors.
Therefore, the PT (Workers Party) makes a calling to activists to retake the organization and struggle in the streets. We hold that discrimination is one of capitalism’s mechanisms to divide the working class, helping to distract our attention from our real problem: the exploiters. To completely end oppression we need to end exploitation through a radical transformation of the capitalist society and the building of socialism.
We stand for a legislation that guarantees equal rights and effectively fights discrimination.
Same-sex marriage NOW! With same rights as heterosexual couples.
For the right to change registered sex for transgender population in documents, public and private institutions, schools, work and the health system. For the acknowledgment of Gender Identity, NOW!
Against persecution, humiliation and discrimination of the LGBTI population.
Against dismissal of workers due to their sexual orientation and for transgender labor quota.
For the organization of the LGBTI in unions, factories and in the countryside to fight LGBTI phobia.