sábado, 24 de maio de 2008

LGBT Pride March Declaration

LGBT Pride March Declaration, 2008

Fracturing Discrimination
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (lgbt) pride exists in contrast to the shame that prejudice and discrimination tries to impose on us. We are proud because even amid so much insult, we are able to find pride in our identity and go against the closets of silence, fear and invisibility. Because the street sets the stage for all struggles and celebrations of diversity and visibility of our love, we want to show that in no way do sexual orientation and gender identity diminish who we are nor make us better than anyone else.

We are proudly accompanied today by people who are worried about human rights and who are fighting against sexist, homophobic, transphobic, racist and xenophobic discrimination which compromises the quality of our democracy.

The right to full citizenship, independent of sexual orientation and gender identity is not a “fracturing question” but rather “fracturing” is the existing discrimination in our laws and society that make lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people second class citizens by default.

We want a society that equally honours and recognises the diversity of family models by law, because family is a free choice of individuals; a space for affection and lives to be lived in common, the state should not privilege any one family model to the determent of others. Therefore we demand that the constitution be upheld and honoured with regards to article 13 and so that civil marriage can stop being an exclusive privilege for “people of the opposite sex”. That the possibility of adoption be extended to all people and couples meeting the necessary conditions to be able to care for children. That artificial insemination be a possibility to all women who want it, regardless of their sexual orientation and whether or not they are in a relationship, because our families already exist and nothing justifies their lack of legal recognition.

“Fracturing” is therefore the current discrimination in the law that refuses equal recognition of relationships and family planning of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.

We demand that legislative measures be taken to efficiently fight inequality of gender that persists and seems to be getting worse in our country. We demand women be granted full access to equality at work and in public space. We demand gender violence and discrimination be eradicated once and for all. We also demand gender identity be contemplated to the Principals of Constitutional Equality and legal measures be taken to recognise transsexual and transgendered self-determination in order to facilitate name and gender changes of national identity status and documents and speed up the medical physical adaptation process. “Fracturing” is the current legal void that obliges transgendered people to endure a long medical and judicial process, perpetuating discrepancies between physical appearance and legal documentation, opening the way to various types of discrimination in areas such as access to education, work and health.

Let us not forget that the state has particular responsibilities in the perpetuation of discrimination such as: through the Portuguese Institute of Blood refusing donations by men who have had sex with other men; allowing for prejudice to override whatever objective criteria and going as far as putting at risk all and every person needing a blood transfusion by compromising the adequate quality of blood collection.

It is fundamental to bet on effective prevention of biased influence by way of policies which promote equality of gender and combat discrimination and violence in all its forms. It is therefore imperative that State agencies and sectors such as health, education justice and security receive adequate and specific training so as we may have a more plural and secular society that knows how to live with diversity and how to combat fractures generated by discrimination.

We all and youth in particular have the right to inclusive and realistic education. Education where sexual education is supported by knowledge and scientific facts, education based on a non-heterosexist mould that deals with sexual orientation and gender identity, allowing for the prevention of discrimination to which we are subjected to in our everyday public and private lives.

We are people of varied origins, convictions; in possession of different knowledge and life experience. Today we are gathered on the street with heads held high knowing that the future depends on that we know to make of it.

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