New efforts to tackle discrimination based on sexuality

16 October 2013

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Peruvians have reported violence and discrimination to a new civil society group at the rate of more than one per week since the project began at the start of 2013.

The civil society group, the LGBT Rights and HIV/AIDS Observatory, received 50 complaints in the first eight months of the year, according to the organisation’s first report. Two murders were reported. 19 of the cases involved violence, 11 discrimination in the private sector and 9 in public services. Cases included incidents of people being denied medical treatment or police aid while bleeding. Several individuals reported losing their jobs or being evicted from a rental property due to their sexual orientation. Four cases involved the harassment of transgender women because of their gender identity.

The Observatory hopes that greater awareness of the problem will help to generate public policies to address it. Spokesperson Manolo Forno said that many cases are not reported to the police due to a lack of confidence in the justice system. The Observatory is supported the Institute for the Study of Health, Sexuality and Human Development of the Peruvian Cayetano Heredia University.

Meanwhile a bill to allow for same-sex civil partnerships has been brought to Congress by the independent member Carlos Bruce. He said the reform would give same-sex partners a number of important rights, such as inheritance of shared assets, and end discrimination that violates the constitution. However the measure is only supported by a quarter of Peruvians, with 65 per cent opposed, including Church leaders. The bill will be debated by the Justice Committee next March.

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