Peru: Why Peru is a long way from same-sex marriage

Same-sex civil unions may have been rejected 7-4 in March by a Peruvian congressional committee, but it’s no longer uncommon to see same-sex couples holding hands in public. The latest legal loss has done little to dampen the resolve of those fighting for change. If anything, the massive, nationwide conversation it’s prompted is spurring them forward.

El Movimiento Homosexual de Lima (MHOL) calls itself Latin America’s oldest gay and lesbian organization. MHOL’s current executive director Giovanny Infante says it has grown to be a national force in the push for equality, especially protection, for Peru’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations.

Infante worries the international community is too fixated on Peru’s economic growth and its culture, less so on its human rights: “Latin America should be heading a different direction,” he says, referring to the direction taken by more and more gay-marriage proponents worldwide. “The urgency is that people are being murdered... We have to focus on conditions that allow people to live, such as access to health care, education, housing, work, protection against HIV and hate crimes.”  Read More