The Ecuadorean Federation of LGBTI Organizations announced it support for leftist presidential candidate Lenin Moreno, saying the ruling party government has been the only one to protect their community and their rights.
Diane Rodriguez, head of the federation and a transgender woman, said the LGBTI community in Ecuador will support Moreno in the presidential elections on April 2.
“We have seen in these 10 years of revolution how much we have moved forward,” said Rodriguez to teleSUR.
75 organizations nationwide supported the announcement, including other LGBTI organizations that are not part of the Federation, and groups that are not LGBTI.
Rodriguez says that during Rafael Correa’s government, some of the main achievements included passing a law in 2016 allowing people to choose a gender on their identity card and having protection under a new communication law to prevent discrimination.
“We presented several legal complaints against stigmatization in TV shows which were discriminatory against LGBTI,” said Rodriguez. “This wouldn’t have been possible if we didn’t have a media law. Media didn’t listen to us before.”
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She says under the current government, the Ministry of Education worked to protect LGBTI students who suffer bullying, and the Ministry of Labor fought against workplace discrimination.
“I believe we have to be consistent with the achievements we’ve had,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez says the organization fears that conservative politicians, such as the right-wing banker Guillermo Lasso, could have power in the decision-making process in the country and would make life harder on LGBTI Ecuadoreans.
The activist said Lasso would likely seek to overturn many decisions and that conservative politicians in Ecuador are “against the reform of the constitution (because they want to) undermine the laws that protect LGBTI people.”
The CREO-SUMA political alliance, which Lasso belongs to, said at the beginning of the campaign that it would protect LGBTI rights gained during the last decade, but later backtracked. She says Lasso himself denied any support to the LGBTI community.
“We are very scared. For us it would be terrible," said Rodriguez. "It would leave us defenseless.”