LGBTQ+ Community And Allies Stage Kiss-A-Thon For Equal Rights At High-End Mall In Colombia
A young gay couple was holding hands and acting like most couples when they were at the Centro Comercial Andino in Bogotá, Colombia. However, a heterosexual couple with a young child verbally assaulted the loving couple calling them pedophiles. The heterosexual couple claimed that their love would corrupt their child and make him gay. The couple was cited for indecent exposure for their loving affection so the LGBTQ+ community came out in full support with a kiss-a-thon.
Colombians staged a large-scale kiss-a-thon in response to a homophobic verbal assault.
A gay couple in Centro Comercial Andino was harassed by a heterosexual couple for showing affection in public. Rather than hide in fear, the LGBTQ+ community in Bogotá came out with strength staging a kiss-a-thon to show that expressions of love are normal. After all, why is it okay for a heterosexual couple to kiss and snuggle in public but LGBTQ+ people are made to feel unsafe for doing the same thing?
“We want people to stop satanising and discriminating against the LGBT community,” Esteban Miranda, one of the men harassed, told Euro News. “We are not sick, we are not an aberration, we are citizens who are here to build a better country.”
Miranda and Nicolas Tellez were at the shopping mall when they were confronted by parents claiming they were being inappropriate.
The couple denied that they were doing anything inappropriate. They claim that the heterosexual couples were uncomfortable with the two men holding hands and hugging like all other couples in the mall.
The couple called the police hoping to receive protection from the irate couple. Instead, when police arrived, the couple was fined for indecent exposure. However, bystanders recorded the couple hurling hateful, homophobic language at the couple and the videos have gone viral internationally.
The LGBTQ+ community and their allies showed Andino shoppers just what love looks like with their kiss-a-thon.
Colombia has long been regarded as a Latin American country that is quite liberal when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community. While they do not allow for same-sex marriage, a same-sex couple can join in civil unions (not marriage) and adopt children. However, a recent report shows that Colombia has made no progress in stemming the number of LGBTQ+ murders in the country.
Protesters want Colombian society to embrace the LGBTQ+ community and stop demonizing normal expressions of love.
“Kissing someone is no crime,” protester Paola Gutierrez told The Washington Post. “All we want is for there to be less divisions in this society, and no discrimination against people over their sexual preferences.”
Some experts claim that the Colombian population is still hostile towards the LGBTQ+ community.
According to The Washington Post, homosexuality is still viewed rather negatively by the Colombian population. This negative sentiment to the LGBTQ+ community has led to several instances of hate and discrimination targeting the community. In the case of the mall harassment, the police immediately sided with the heterosexual couple issuing the gay couple a citation for indecent exposure.
It is 2019 and LGBTQ+ communities across the globe are pushing back on these instances of intolerance.
“Mr. Pedro Costa: Love is not a bad example for our children. Your ignorance and your discrimination against human rights is. #YesToLove #FuriousGays”
The LGBTQ+ community in Bogotá sent a clear message to the bullies in the City of Gold. The message is one of love, strength, and a determination to stand up against all forms of discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community.