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SOMOSGAY calls on Paraguay’s educational community to curb speeches of hate and disinformation

SOMOSGAY calls on Paraguay’s educational community to curb speeches of hate and disinformation

access_timeSeptember 18, 2017 10:37 pm

It is so great our fear to diversity that we rely on fantasies to remain in denial, closing ourselves to dialogue. Not in vain do we persist living under an authoritarian culture, in a democracy of the lowest quality, as a result of a lagging education.

Paraguay is one of the most unequal countries in the most unequal region of the world; among the populations most affected by this injustice are women and LGBTI people. Our country also, and sadly, stands out for its femicides, its high rates of teenage pregnancies, unpunished murders of transgender women, corrective violations against gay men and lesbians, as well as for its remaining institutional discrimination and persecution towards LGBTI people, every day.


Those who wield the argument of the "gender ideology" start from an ideology: one where a particular interpretation of a sacred book, where there is only one single family model to the detriment of others and, in short, one that denies the diversity that is inherent to the human species and that seeks to maintain institutionalized discrimination and violence, thus categorizing human beings into first, second and third classes. We are talking about a dogma that completely lacks scientific support.


Today, our country’s Minister of Education Enrique Riera issued statements in line with the reactionary speeches, commenting on a six-year-old Cooperation Agreement that our organization had previously signed with the Ministry’s General Direction of Permanent Education in 2011, while also blaming the government of former president Fernando Lugo in his comments, thus highlighting the tint of party-led administration and electoralist-driven speech that reenacts the exaltation of the more openly conservative sectors. The Minister referred to information materials that our organization had supposedly prepared for the Ministry of Education and Science (aka MEC) but the ironic thing is that the MEC itself denied this form of collaboration just days ago. SOMOSGAY also highlights that the Cooperation Agreement that was signed was aimed to eradicate discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression in young people and adults.


In a democracy, do we legislate only for a certain system of beliefs and groups of people behind them, and to the detriment of others? What are the values that are actually being defended from the reactionary sectors? If the State is pointing out that there are families that are worth less than others, that there are people of second and even third category, if we continue letting discrimination and violence to remain invisible, are these the values proper to a democracy based on human rights or those of a truly ethical person or group of people?


Fear is the root of exaltation of the reactionary sectors that seek to impose a single and totalitarian speech over a more diverse one. Fear nullifies our capacity to dialogue, a dialogue that is indispensable for a democracy, and above all, for the ability to think critically. This might be the reason for, when we are afraid, we look for paternalistic figures, sometimes through simplistic and fanciful speeches. Let us not forget that violence feeds on fear and fear is the breeding ground for authoritarian regimes that have already led to many fatal events throughout human history.


We demand that Minister Enrique Riera publish the alleged documents produced jointly with SOMOSGAY or, by failing to do so, to clarify the false information issued during his press conference held on Monday September 18. We demand the Ministry of Education and Science to safeguard and guarantee a scientific education, based on democratic values and framed in human rights, as dictated by our National Constitution. We also urge the Ministry of Education and Science to fulfill its responsibility, safeguarding the wellbeing of children and adolescents in their care, avoiding the enablement, generation and diffusion of hate speeches and all those attitudes and practices that affect them in their free development.


SOMOSGAY calls on the entire educational community of the country - that is teachers, parents and all other adults in charge - to curb hate speech and disinformation, replacing them with quality information based on the best scientific evidence.

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