Jul 10, 2010

Send Love To The GLBT Familia en la Isla Bonita

Thank you Kyle for this recent post. I am spreading the word. I may not always comment, but I always read your awesome blog.

A suggestion good people, after reading this post, send a note to annie.rodriguez@prtourism.com. Let her know that the good people of Puerto Rico need to get this madness under control. Oye, Ricky Martin, step up!

"A special committee to investigate hate crimes has been created in Puerto Rico, where advocates say gay and transgender people are the victims of an "epidemic" of violence.

The announcement by the attorney general was cheered Saturday by activists who complain the government has yet to invoke 2002 legislation establishing harsher penalties for crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

"I think this is a step in the right direction to start to collect statistics that are vital to curb the crisis of violence against the gay community in Puerto Rico," said Pedro Julio Serrano, a native of the U.S. territory and spokesman for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Serrano said 25 slayings of gay and transgender people in the past eight years may have been motivated by bias -- including the decapitation in November of gay teen Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado, whose killing inspired vigils as far away as New York and Chicago.

The new government committee involves agencies including the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Juan, police officials and the island’s civil rights commission, according to a statement release by the attorney general late Friday.

"With the creation of this committee, we will document the extent of hate crimes," said Attorney General Guillermo Somoza Colombani, who added that the data will help develop policies to attend to the victims.

Puerto Rico is known as a welcoming place for gays, particularly in comparison with more socially conservative Caribbean islands where LGBT people often live in hiding.

A recent string of high-profile slayings, however, has put pressure on the government. Some of the cases have received broad local news media coverage, including the April killing of a 31-year-old transgender beauty salon owner.

"It’s sort of an epidemic," Serrano said. "It’s too much to be ignored."

Source: Bay Windows


lelocolon said...

Kyle is cool. Thank you for posting this. You know my views about PR, and one of the reasons I do not live there is my tormented childhood. But it is of no surprise to me that hate crime against gays are happening. You have corruption in government, huge unemployment rates, and increase in christian conservatives, and you will have a emanating culture that will look the other way and even rationalized this can of abuse. I remember being jump by a neighborhoood bully while calling me faggot an my mother's church friend walking away. Her message was clear to me, according to her I deserved the beating.

Reneé said...

Kyle's blog is the awesomest.

Wonder Man said...

This is good and Kyle always get the lowdown

Kyle said...

Allan I'm really glad you are giving this one exposure. Sometimes I feel like people in PR are too close to shutting all of the investigations down. I'm afraid they will create silence and GLBTQ people in PR will loose hope, as they have in many small nations, with little GLBTQ exposure and activism.

On a separate note, you are all gonna make me cry. Marcos, Kitty, V, and Allan, I think of you as so much more brave, honest, and determined. Your blogs give me hope and strength.

bunnilove said...

Thanks so much for posting this.