LGBT people in the Peruvian capital of Lima are staging a mass “kissathon” at the Plaza Mayor as a peaceful protest to demand authorities provide equal rights for same-sex couples in the country.
The call to action was made through social networks for dozens of LGBT couples to hold a simultaneous and prolonged period of kissing, an action severely criticized by some sectors of Peruvian society, especially among staunchly conservative, Catholic groups.
"The streets of Peru are for all, regardless of sexual orientation. Therefore kisses, whether homosexual or heterosexual, should be seen as a normal behavior and not as inappropriate," LGBT groups said.
Same-sex marriage is still not legal in Peru. However, same-sex marriage advocates did score a big win recently when a court ruled in favor of activist Oscar Ugarteche, who married his partner in Mexico and sued for it to be considered valid in his native Peru.
The court’s decision was taken by LGBT groups as a small step toward recognizing equal marriage in the South American country.
In Peru, homophobic crimes are not punished because the criminal code doesn’t recognize crimes hate committed against the LGBT community. Last year, at least nine LGBT people were killed with discrimination as the motive.