Colombia’s LGBT community received a wave of solidarity on social media sites in response to a march by thousands of Colombians opposing plans to educate children on sexual diversity.
Additionally, to counter the thousands who oppose gay-inclusive sexual education in public schools several gatherings will be organized in the capital Bogota this week where LGBT supporters and members can make a stand against the discrimination they face.
A campaign, which is circulating social media using the hashtag #EducacionSinMatoneo (Education without bullying), encourages people to post short videos on social media explaining why they want an education system free of discrimination.
The campaign, backed by gay rights NGO Colombia Diversa, wants public education to “promote values, equality and the conviction that everybody has the right to the same opportunities.”
Another video which went viral after being published by Colombian newspaper El Espectador is that of respected journalist Hector Abad.
“Those who are spreading the idea that it’s possible to educate a child to be gay are either liars or very ignorant,” said Abad.
The journalist went on to explain that five to 10 percent of people in all cultures are naturally born with homosexual inclination and that there’s nothing wrong with it.
Abad lent his support to Education Minister Gina Parody and praised her efforts to educate people to be tolerant and to respect differences.
Parody is set to appear in Congress this Tuesday in a debate about political control after the anti-bullying manual she and the United Nations Population Fund and Unicef were working on was rejected.
Members of Colombia’s LGBT minority will unite outside the congress in the main square in Bogota to support the minister.
On wednesday evening, more manifestations in support of gay rights will take place in a candle-lit reunion in the Parque de los Hippies in Bogota’s Chapinero district.
Protesters announced they will pay homage to Sergio Urrego, a gay teenager who committed suicide in 2014 after receiving homophobic abuse at school.
According to Sergio’s mother, Alba Reyes, said in response to the ongoing controversy that “it’s as if we’ve gone back to the inquisition,” adding that “instead of making progress we’re just going backwards.”