Some 6,000 people catch what entertainer Gaby Gnazzo had to say at the Pride celebration in Parque Urraca, which took place on the evening of a rainy Saturday. Photo from the World Pride Panama Twitter feed.
…Then there were detractors — perhaps
by Eric Jackson
Earlier in the week the SPI presidential guards disrupted the Pride Week picnic in Parque Omar. The park administration, a part of the First Lady’s office, quickly apologized but the homophobe groups continue to claim that park rules were violated. Some of these arguments twist the regulations against putting signs and banners and so on on the park’s fence or other fixtures into a ban on carrying the rainbow flag. Some of them invent things about lewd conduct or other things they might have imagined about a picnic. In any case the religious far right and the neofascists in this country ALWAYS approve of police hassling gay people, so they put out the call for their followers to show up dressed in white at Parque Omar on the Sunday after Pride Saturday to support a more repressive Institutional Protection Service (SPI):
The groups that were posting this on social media?
No photos, not a word. Well, not about the gathering they called. A Twitter storm about Sodom and Gomorrah and all sorts of insulting comments about Saturday’s pride marchers, but silence about their own gathering. We may presume that it did not happen and that they are not in a position to claim a gay plot without being laughed at.
Yes, Panama has this heavy streak of homophobia, wherein people hesitate to vote for anyone LGBT nor any sort of Q, for starters. But we also have a strong privacy culture, which makes discussions about anyone else’s sexuality, let alone inquiries to a questioned person, beyond the pale gauche. Dignity and equality for homosexuality are unlikely to get through this current legislature, where a handful of deputies regularly rail against the queers. But if they call a rally, few people will show for the homophobe cause.
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