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Puebla establishes an annual “Day Against Homophobia”

Can a facade of gay-friendliness help build a foundation?

The legislature of the state of Puebla voted this week to name May 17th “el Día Estatal Contra la Homofobia.” Though the measure appears to be purely symbolic, according to El Universal, supporters hope it will help lay the groundwork in the fight against homophobia in the notoriously conservative state of Puebla.

Brahim Zamora Salazar, president of the Democracy and Sexuality Network of Puebla (Red Democracia y Sexualidad), was quick to criticize the federal corollary of this day, vaguely named the Día de la Tolerancia y Respeto hacia las Preferencias (Day of Tolerance and Respect for Preferences):

“If the federal government–because of its homophobic and intolerant beliefs–insists on ignoring the problem by using a euphemism, then we in the states will push initiatives that do name the problem and spell it out in plain letters: homophobia is a problem in our society that needs to be named, condemned, and attacked.”

So, kudos to the 31 state legislators who voted for the measure, and let’s hope it’s the beginning of other, more meaningful legislation. If the comments on El Universal’s article are any indication, there is clearly still a lot of work to be done.

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