Hundreds of demonstrators demonstrated in the Guatemalan capital on Saturday to reject a law approved by the ruling Congress that toughens abortion penalties, closes the door on same-sex marriage and limits the rights of the LGBTI community.
“We as people in the LGBT community deserve, just by living in this state, to have the same rights as other people,” Angel Cabrera, one of the protesters, told AFP. .
During the demonstration, which started in the south of the capital and reached the historic center, the participants, with dances, music and multicolored flags, demanded that Parliament suspend the “law for the protection of life and family,” approved on Tuesday. .
The law increases the maximum prison sentence from 3 to 10 years for “the woman who has an abortion or consents to another person having it”.
In addition, he clarified that “same-sex marriage is expressly prohibited” and prohibited educational centers from teaching about sexual diversity, among other limitations for the LGBTI population.
Opposition MPs claimed that the law, in addition to being unconstitutional, could criminalize women for miscarriages and increase the risk of hate crimes based on sexual orientation.
On Thursday, President Alejandro Giammattei asked parliament to suspend the law, saying it violates the Constitution and international conventions signed by the country. Otherwise, he announced, he will veto.
The day before, the president had participated in a Christian forum which had declared Guatemala “Pro-life capital of the Ibero-American peninsula”,
Shirley Rivera, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and member of the ruling party that promoted the law, said she will analyze whether the standard contains illegalities.
“With our rights we do not play” and “No to the law of hatred”, were some of the banners during the demonstration on Saturday.
The deputies promoting the law argued in the text that there are “minority groups” in Guatemala that offer “models of conduct and coexistence different from the natural order of marriage and family” and that they represent a “threat to the moral balance” and “peace”.