LIMA – A group of activists from Peru’s LGBTI community gathered in two main squares in the center of Lima on Saturday for “Kisses for Diversity” to protest against the discrimination and violence faced by the sexual minorities in the country.
A day after an LGBT collective held a symbolic wedding at the Parque del Amor (Park of Love) in the capital’s Miraflores area, another group of the minority community gathered at the San Martin square to pose for photos and videos while kissing, many of them carrying the rainbow flags that symbolize their struggle.
The event was publicized on social media and also repeated at the Plaza de Armas, the historic central square of Lima.
The gathering, earlier called “Kisses Against Homophobia,” was first held in 2011 after a group of LGBTI activists were attacked by the police for public display of affection at the Plaza de Armas, which is surrounded by the Government Palace, the Lima Cathedral, and the City Hall.
In a statement, the organizers said the police action on that day was a “clear example of abuse of authority and discrimination, a message of rejection and hate in the lives of thousands of LGBTIQ+ people of Peru and the world.”
That reaffirmed the need to “keep fighting and resisting against injustice and violence against our lives,” the statement said.
The group urged the Peruvian state and its three arms (executive, judiciary and legislature), along with other private and public institutions, to take strict measures and establish norms to ensure compliance with the law against discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation and other national and international accords in this regard.
The organizers also appealed to local governments to implement necessary norms and ensure the right to a dignified existence for all of their citizens, and especially guarantee “respect for our lives, because although the society and the state refuse to recognize it, we exist!”
“We do not and we will not agree to negotiate our rights.”
On the 9th anniversary of the first kissing event in 2011, the activists pledged to grow stronger and united in the struggle of all LGBTI people to be seen as equals in the country.