Did you know that Mexico, in the middle of a bloody war on drugs, approved same sex civil unions? That Colombia, in the midst of a civil war, did the same? Can you imagine any serious Mexican politician saying that they would only consider discussing the issue after catching el Chapo? Or any Colombian politician saying he won’t even talk about the subject until FARC signed a peace agreement with the government?  

Even South Africa, with its enormous problems, on the brink of a race war and in the middle of a deadly battle against HIV, managed to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and to approve same sex marriage. Ten years ago.

Alas, we’re not in Mexico or Colombia or even South Africa, we’re in Venezuela, where it’s still considered perfectly ok for a high profile political leader like Chúo Torrealba to first say Same Sex Marriage is “important” and “must be discussed” and then pivot immediately to describing the issue as a “first word problem”.  

In a remarkable bout of pragmatism, message discipline and an astonishing display of focus, the other day Quico backed Chúo on this very blog, questioning the wisdom of discussing SSM in the Asamblea at this stage because “it’s not a priority”. We are on the brink of mass starvation, and a humanitarian crisis, the argument goes, and this does not help to solve those issues.

It seems this extraordinary focus only applies when someone suggests discussing LGBT rights. Inviting movie directors to speak about the national film industry and approving a resolution in praise of La Divina Pastora, it seems, are just the ticket against hyperinflation. Celebrating the 100th birthday of the man who released Chávez from jail, too. If we are so close to a catastrophe, why aren’t we demanding that the Asamblea really focuses on the economy, instead of frittering away institutional focus on this kind of trivia?

Quico talked about getting real. Right. Here’s some real for you: unless you really think Divina Pastora or the ghost of Rafael Caldera is going to protect us from Luis Salas, this crap about “priorities” is a scam.

We don’t remember Quico denouncing the construction of a gigantic monument to la Divina Pastora, spending resources that should have gone to hospitals, schools or even to supplying food. We don’t remember Caracas Chronicles lambasting Henri Falcón, for using this monument for political gain.

This talk about a humanitarian emergency is not really an argument, it’s a pretext to avoid even talking about LGBT issues.

Are you going to be devoted to the emergency? By all means. Get incensed. Fight to avoid it. But be serious about it. And don’t use such a dreadful situation to cover your prejudice or your apathy.

What about reforming the Fair Prices Law? What about repealing the clearly unconstitutional reform of the Central Bank Law? And hey, doesn’t passing a law for Cestatickets for retired workers increase the deficit and actually make the situation worse?

You could argue that an SSM law would benefit relatively few people. OK, but the Assembly has made it clear its top priority is an Amnesty Law that would benefit literally fewer than 100!

Back in 2014 several LGBT NGO’s affiliated with chavismo introduced a draft bill legalizing same sex marriage with the AN with support from PSUV’s deputies. Wouldn’t it be amazing for the opposition to approve their draft? To make chavismo squirm at their own hypocrisy if they choose not to support it?

As Pedro argued in comments, the real issue for Torrealba is that he knows very well many people inside MUD don’t actually approve of same sex marriage. Saying “it’s not a priority” is a way out of weaselling out of the debate. The real issue is that even the MUD leaders who support SSM aren’t really sure they could get enough support from their caucus to approve a proposal.

It’s sad because it makes it clear that the inclusion of Tamara Adrián as an alternate deputy was a reflection of VP’s position, not MUD’s. In the end, support for gay rights divides both the MUD and the PSUV caucus – that’s why they’re both afraid of this debate.

Having said that, sure – and, gay or not, everyone agrees on this – there are more pressing matters.

But currently we are not paying as much attention as we should to those issues, we are wasting time and resources on trivial stuff. As Anabella argued, the Asamblea has to show it can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Chúo is telling us that they don’t want to, that they don’t care and that we don’t matter. When Venezuela is a first world country, we can worry about that. So, maybe in 2080?

Sure, we know it would not be an easy fight, but there’s already a bill at the Assembly that was never discussed. Giving up on SSM is wasting a fantastic opportunity to prove to the nation and to the world the illiberal nature of Chavismo, to show all its prejudice and homophobia, to let them paint themselves into a corner and drop the pretense of progressivism, to show the real colors we every now and then see under their mask. This could be a PR nightmare for the government, played correctly.

Quico says that discussing SSM would distract the country from “the basic fight to restore something like a working democracy”. No, Quico, you have it backwards. Discussing SSM is precisely part of the process to restore a real and healthy democracy to Venezuela. Human Rights and fair treatment of minorities are part of any sound democracy. You cannot run away from this and claim you are restoring democracy. You are betraying it.

This is especially despicable when the arguments used are exactly the same arguments that chavistas used for 17 years to avoid the discussion. So, you are telling us that in order to save us from chavismo, you will behave like chavistas? No me jodas.

Look, even if we agree that the priorities lie elsewhere, Torrealba’s words were dismissive and offensive. Politics is a slow process, messy and difficult, we get it. Nobody is expecting a SSM law to emerge fully right away.

Torrealba could have punted the issue to a subcommittee. He could’ve said it’s in a queue to be discussed there. That it may not happen right away, but it won’t be forgotten.

Instead we got an immediate rejection and dismissal. We are not important, they do not care. Coming from Torrealba, who a few days ago was apologizing to the chavistas for taking the pictures of Chavez out of the Asamblea, this is shocking.

The irrational followers of a personality/death cult get more respect and tact than us, LGBT citizens. Chúo Torrealba has disdained us and our causes, proving again our status as second class citizens. This is unacceptable. Dignity doesn’t wait for political expediency. We cannot accept this utter lack of respect and consideration.

121 COMMENTS

  1. Yeah thats all fine and good but in México, Colombia and South Africa you can go to the store and get basic food staples, just sayin’. There isn’t going to be any gay marriage to approve if, you know, all the gays starve to death.

    • It really is a matter of priorities, not potentially dividing the Oppo caucus, and the glacial pace of getting any legislation approved in Venezuela, particularly under the current circumstances.

    • None of the countries mentioned are first world. We do not disagree in that there are more important things. We wrote that. Several times.

      We disagree that we only should talk about it when Venezuela is a first world country. That’s basically the same than saying “Cuando la rana eche pelo”.

    • Why are we worrying about the Venezuelan movie industry or la Divina Pastora, then? Why not ignore anything frivolous until the crisis has abated?

  2. Hiper Militant Gay people are getting obnoxious with all their their morally pretentious and chest pounding theatrical rants , we all understand their need to pose as the standard bearers of grand sacred ideals of universal justice and as hallowed victims of fiendish prejudices but we are now engaged in a fierce struggle for our own survival as a free country , moreover in a struggle to avoid mass starvation , much more daunting than those of Mexico or Colombia or South Africa. So stop being such cry babies and take your turn , right now my own concern is getting hold of some very scarce to get drugs that close members of my familty REALLY need, Whatever our simpathy for your cause your frenzied outpourings of moral indignation at this dire and difficult moment arent gaining you any respect , rather the other way round ….

    • You do understand how your tone proves right their contention that this “priorities” stuff is a red-herring, code for “we don’t want to talk about it because we’re hostile to your demands”?

      (Also because you fail to engage with any of the actual (rather than imagined) points in their réplica…)

      • Francisco : Im also against any attempt to propose a law now to spend 1 billion dollars to clean up the Guaire whatever its ecological merits , which doesnt mean Im against the protection of our ecology , in logic being in disagreement with an specific proposal which has bigger implications than what is proposed doesnt prove a thing , because your disagreement may have more to do with the context and implications of the proposal than with its substantive merits !!

        There is a cheap form of moral extortion which some righteous PC puritans resort to and which I simply cant stomach, for example if you dont totally approve of israeli govts treatment of its palestinian population then you are anti semitic , and if you dont approve the inmmediate ennactment of a law approving gay marriage then you are homophobic . This is an insidious form of moral black mail which exemplifies what puffed up PC righteousness is all about !!

        I just dont think I have to prove anything about the sanctity of my opinions by being in blind agreement with everything that local gay militants propose, however silly!! I am perfectly sattisfied with the reasons you gave for not treating this as top priority for the Oppo NA and am tired of being forced to pay attention to a topic that for me is exhausted . In my view there are bigger much more pressing fish to fry ……and a the moment its other more important and urgent topics which are recieving my attention !!

        • Bill:

          You wrote…

          “and if you dont approve the inmmediate ennactment of a law approving gay marriage then you are homophobic”

          Which everybody agrees here is a straw man argument because nobody is currently demanding this at the expense of all other legislative priorities.

          So let’s edit your statement for a bit and remove that troublesome canard “immediate” so that it reads properly:

          “if you dont approve the ennactment of a law approving gay marriage then you are homophobic”

          I’m going to go out on a limb and assume perhaps you don’t approve of gay marriage. But that’s neither here nor there. My point is, have that actual debate. Have in the Asemblea, have it on TV. But don’t hide behind a bullsh-t false debate about priorities when the real issue is an earnest disagreement over gay unions. Because that’s not even homophobic, that’s just being a coward.

          For whatever its worth, that conversation has already been had in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, South Africa, and 21 other countries with their own legal systems and standards of jurisprudence where gay marriage is accepted as the law of the land.

          Incidentally, I am not a militant gay. I’m a very boring gay, with a very boring but profitable business and very boring weekends filled with very non-militant hobbies.

          But when I read that article the other day, the steam came out of my ears and if I had coffee, I probably would have spit it out. Not because I’m a militant, but I know a lame excuse when I see one, and I would have expected much better from the opposition.

          • Your really don’t get it right?
            To have a debate about it, means to use TIME and EFFORT, it is about priorities.
            TIME is scarce, having a debate is scarce, even debating needs to be prioritized.

          • Right, Madacol.

            That’s why they are discussing Día Nacional del Cine. That sure is a priority. Or giving property titles to houses people already live in. That certainly will ameliorate the lines for food and bring back the medicines.

    • The whole point of the article is that if you define yourself as a moral individual, I don’t have to ask you for respect (o jalarte como dirían en criollo)

    • This is a straw man, a caricature. No “hyper militant gay people” here. Stop it.

      No one here is demanding a SSM law for monday morning. We are not demanding that the issue gets discussed immediately. I do not know of any single LGBT activist that is asking for this. Let alone any major LGBT rights NGO.

      It seems you are livid at the prospect of wasting time discussing our rights. Fair enough. We haven’t discussed it at all at the Asamblea, so, you are misplacing your anger. Where is your anger at the Divina pastora monument? Where is your anger at the movie directors, daring to talk about cinema and movies in such a dire situation? Hey, no, let’s attacks a caricature that I just made up and don’t say a word of the real time wasting going on the Asamblea.

      I really think you should re examine yourself and your positions. Instead of attacking an imaginary hyper gay militant, if you are sooooooo outraged, focus on the Asamblea and its priorities. Gay activists do not make praise of the Divina Caldera the orden del día, you know.

      • Guido I didnt even know the Santa Pastora Monument was being discussed in the AN , and frankly is not a topic that for me deserves the NA attention. Maybe they are playing politics ( as they need to if for example they propose to have a referendum or something of the kind ) , there are probably 9 persons pleased at the Santa pastora homage for every one that even cares about gay rights !! (most of them apparently writing their comments in this blog) . Outside in my daily life l have contact with a lot of people from different walks of life , and the gay rights topic is one that no one mentions or pays the least attention to . Maybe they should but they dont ………they do talk a lot about how hateful the regime is and how they dream of the day they are rid of it……are they loathsome , are they horrid because their priorities are not yours ??

        I did use the hiper militant monicker ( after doubting whether to put it in) because I thought maybe there are gays or people who deeply simpathyse with their cause who dont feel identified with the current hoopla about having the gay rights issue moved to the center of oppo concerns and I didnt want them to feel referenced by my criticism. My criticism is not meant as a blaring declaration of hostility to the gay cause, but rather as a protest that maybe treatment of the topic is overdone , given current circumstances. .

        I believe all people deserve respect as persons and that being gay should not deprive gays of being granted that respect by anyone , on the other hand being gay is to me no cause for self celebration ( specially if you feel drawn to the morally appealing assumption of glamorized victimhood) , same as being actively and aggresively heterosexual is no cause of self celebration ( as local machistas would have it) , the respect issue is a subtle one , with a lot of nuances , one that would take several page for me to disect and there is no space here for it …… Do believe me when I say that I feel no hostility for the gay cause and that Iam wont to disrespect any person solely because of their inborn sexual orientation …..

        • I’m sorry Bill,

          But you say “My criticism is not meant as a blaring declaration of hostility to the gay cause,” Can I ask you honestly where do you stand morally on homosexuality and SSM?Why is it so offensive about even talking about the issue, that someone who is regularly one of the most level-headed and tolerant persons to comment on the blog to flip out?

          • Thank you Cacr210 for the kind characterization of my overall commentary , I have a rather nuanced position concerning private life preferences , whichever they are , which treats those preferences not as purely moral issues but as issues that have to do with how those preferences are socially harmonized to ensure the many benfits that living and acting together in the pursuit of shared goals can bring to the members of a particular community.

            That means that you celebrate all that unites and binds the members of that community to share a common life and that were inevitable personal differencess exist between them you make a choice on whether to accept as lawful those differences which some of them find offensive or in bad taste where their acceptance in practice helps the members of that community achieve a more highly prioritized ‘common good’ .

            For example in parts of India eating the flesh of animal is seen by many as disgusting and inmoral so that people who eat meat can be ostracized and even attacked phisically because of their persosnal dietary preferences, such attitudes however if allowed as lawful would make it possible for meat eaters to live protected from the persecution of the militant veggies . One cant help it that for many people in india flesh eating is gross and inmoral but if you make a law that makes meat eating lawful then Indian society benefits from allowing such dietary practice and making meat eaters full respected members of the community.

            This distinction between the lawful and the moral is what modernity is all about . No one can legislate moral responses because these arise out the heterogeneous and spontenous emotional response people have to different types of behaviour . what you can legisllate is peoples behaviour and the behaviour which the state will adopt to ensure as many non injurous personal preferences as may exist in a society are legalized and protected.

            Another example is the judgment of adultery , in ancient times adulterers were stoned to death ( they still are in some primitive society) . In western society however adultery although not morally celebrated , and morally condemned by many its become Lawful and no one will suffer imprisonment because of it .!!

            I am trying to articulate a more subtle position than the ordinary hate or love it position people usually take about these things !! Of course sometimes culturally a society will feel so offended by some behaviour that making it lawful becomes very difficult , so a certain degree of consensus is needed to make it possible for non injurious personal behaviour to rise above the moral judgments that many apply to it and become a lawfuly recognized behaviour !!

            Sorry for the probably all too complex articulation for what is not an easy to explain idea !!

        • The part about “this topic is overdone” is a bit complicated. Because although I am gay, when I read Caracas Chronicles, I most certainly do not in my day to day expect it to be a meditation on gay rights. Its very refreshing for me to see this, but I understand this is not a central topic in other people’s lives and it feels out of character in some way to others.

          But you have to understand this becomes a topic the moment a guy like Chuo treats this issue in the way that he did and CC made the unfortunate choice the other day to give his statements a hearty thumbs up.

          Because it isn’t that those among us who are gay feel that this is The Most Important Thing Ever (but it is important) but that the matter was treated in such a way as to completely negate its importance entirely and treat gay rights almost like one big nuisance and a joke. And that’s what was wrong, and what needed to be condemned.

        • “specially if you feel drawn to the morally appealing assumption of glamorized victimhood”

          Ok, off topic, but you really need to stop it right now and read a book or something.

          I’ve rather liked a great many of your posts in the past, but this is really too much and very glaringly not your area of expertise and really really really really really getting offensive.

        • I am trying to keep a civil discussion here.

          It would help if you actually stuck to what we are saying and stopped putting words in our mouths. No one here has called another person horrid, homophobe or loathsome. Please stop it.

          having said that, the birthday of Caldera of the national movie industry aren’t exactly hot topics in day to day life, they aren’t priorities for anyone but movie directors and hardcore copeyanos. Yet again, I am not seeing your anger about the AN discussing that. But you seem to be really angry towards us for something that the AN hasn’t wasted any time on.

          “there are probably 9 persons pleased at the Santa pastora homage for every one that even cares about gay rights !!”
          Do you have any data supporting this claim?

          “current hoopla about having the gay rights issue moved to the center of oppo concerns and I didnt want them to feel referenced by my criticism. ”

          Wait a second. Who exactly is demanding to move LGBT rights to the center of the oppo concerns? Non of us is asking for that, and the article is extremely clear about it. Please quote actual people, man, nombre y apellidos, links, because, again, this reads like a straw man.

          “e respect issue is a subtle one , with a lot of nuances , one that would take several page for me to disect and there is no space here for it ”

          There’s plenty of space here. That you are not willing to engage on a discussion is something different.

          • Guido, you keep comming back to this point that becaused we discussed La Divina Pastora we then have time to discuss SSM. However, the political implications of discussing Divina Pastora was 0 and the time consumed (other than the brief minutes the agreement was read in session) was also 0. SSM will consume a lot more effort both on the floor and with the press. Press that we need to pressure the government to do the basic things any government should do (like providing running water).

            I am afraid that once you get that your entire argument stops being valid.

  3. Totally agree with this. Why is a LGBT law lower in priority than an Amnesty Law? Why can’t they be treated fairly equal in a time-allocation basis?

    Or should we resign ourselves to the fact that the MUD can only think 24/7 in a single issue?

    • “Why is a LGBT law lower in priority than an Amnesty Law”
      Fighting to free somebody wrongfully imprisoned has the same priority as fighting for the right to same sex marriage? Really?

      • And why does the Amnesty Law has to be the ONLY priority for the AN?

        My point is that once you don’t have to make priorities. You can tackle several priorities at once, including the LGBT community.

      • Hi Maria,

        A point mentioned above was that the SSM won’t benefit a large part of the population, as a way to discredit its relevance. I think Iggy was mentioning that the Amnesty law won’t benefit a large part of the population either.

        SSM is important on many levels that maybe you don’t understand. It’s not important because this people want to have a fun wedding party. There are many legal complications same sex couple face due to their union not being recognized. This is a good start to try to understand: https://www.oximity.com/article/Gobierno-de-Venezuela-niega-registro-a-1 . Basically if one of the members of the same sex relationship dies, they could lose custody of their child (if it was carried by the other member), and they are not elegible to inherit anything. Yes, you can make a will blah blah blah (I understand this is not even a *thing* in Venezuela? IDK, I left Venezuela when I was ~21 so I never had to deal with wills over there). More legal issues here: http://www.unmarried.org/cohabitation/legal-financial/faq/ This is for USA, but it’s a good explanation of some of the issues.

        • It is extremely important, because even if I make a will saing i give everything to my cat, in Venezuelan law the family is protected, son your kids are prtected, even if you hate them, something has to go to them in La sucesión. So yes it is important to have that sort it out! The widow receives 50% and a part as being a kid. So, yes two people of same sex with kids, could be on the streets because their union is not recognized!

      • People have ended alone and in the streets because the family of their deceased husband/wife takes everything from them, as they are legally the only inheritors of their property. That would never happen to a married couple.

        Children have been taken away from mothers because the family wishes so.

        Couples have been prevented from meeting in the hospital, because the family does not allow it. This is not only about a piece of paper. This is not only about a party or a fancy wedding. This is a matter of life and death for some people.

  4. Well, knowing Venezuela and Venezuelans, and understanding how backwards the country has gone in the last 16 years. ¿Do you really think there is a majority for this in the current National assembly? I truly don’t, Venezuela is one of the most homophobic countries I know and I think we have gone backwards in the last 16 years.

    And it shows.

    Interesting, Tibisay at least has some concerns for the problem

    http://konzapata.com/2016/01/tibisay-lucena-pidio-a-la-asamblea-apoyo-para-el-derecho-a-la-identidad-de-las-personas-que-cambian-de-sexo/

    • Well, Mexico is not exactly Norway and Colombia is a much more traditionalist country than Venezuela where the catholic church still holds a lot of influence, the Venezuela is a homophobic country is a pretty self-defeating argument, all countries are o were mostly homophobic by the turn of the century and yet they still managed to tackle the gay rights issue.

  5. Great post.

    Yes, Same Sex Marriage might not be a pressing issue. But whatever it is, the National Assembly is not tacklng any of those anyways. And they are obviously not taking the crisis seriously with this Divina Pastora, PDVSA security issues, memorials and Cesta ticket idiocity.

    Great argument against “restoring” democracy: you can’t have it without Rule of Law, and it’s basic principle states that everyone is equal to the Law.

    On the other hand, Quico has a point: Saludos a la bandera take no time. SSM is real work, Central Bank’s Law is real work, and so on. But yeah… I insist that they don’t grasp the crisis. If they did, they would be doing real work. And sure you can make the first discussion of Central Bank Law and SSM Law in the same day. WORK, you bastards. For once. Dealing with Maduro’s and the TSJ veto? Well, you will have to do face it some day.

    Once again, great post.

  6. I have no problem with gay marriage, but you really shouldn’t compare it to amnesty law for political prisoners. Gays being allowed to marry would improve the lives of a certain segment of population whose greatest problem in life is being a little bit different, whereas amnesty law would save the lives of people who are in prison for wanting to save their country from a band of narco thugs.

    The two really shouldn’t be compared.

        • It would have allowed *her* (did you even read the article?) to be certain that her baby would not be taken away, to keep their apartment. That is really big, you know. The right to keep your children. And it would benefit 1000-10000 times more people than the amnesty law.

          Mind you, sure, the amnesty law has to be discussed and passed (even if they won’t enact it, we all know that), but if you are going to give priority to that, over the needs of 30 million, the priority argument certainly crumbles.

          • I sincerely doubt there are 30 million gays in Venezuela, a country of 30 million. About 30 million people are being hurt every day by a regime that uses jailing of political opponents as a tool of repression. If you add two and two together it becomes obvious that these two problems aren’t anywhere near the same order of magnitude.

            Yes, gay marriage would improve the lives of a few Venezuelans. No, it wouldn’t solve the most pressing issue of all but a few of that relatively small group, and it wouldn’t benefit many people outside of that sphere. It’s a worthwhile goal nonetheless, but compared to an Amnesty law? Please, it’s nowhere near as important, nor it ever could be.

        • I have a wonderful idea. Every time that the AN is doing useless shit, let’s talk about gay rights. That way suddenly everyone and their mother will be incensed about priorities, and maybe we can get the AN back to the issues that it should concerned about, instead of talking to movie directors.

  7. Well, at least Diversity is alive and well within the pages Caracas Chronicles. And yet, this post seems to have hit a nerve. Even Bill Bass, whom I admire as a cool, calm, dispassionate commentator totally flipped out on this issue.

  8. Torrealba really should stop talking for the deputies. That apology for the Allup video was followed inmediatly by a tweet from Allup saying that if he were to apologize for something, he would do it himself:

    https://twitter.com/hramosallup/status/686228588056711168

    Translation: “Shut up Chúo, you don’t speak for me and I’m not apologizing. Period”.

    Torrealba aside, the people that are actually working on the subject already said that is on the way, no matter what Chúo says:

    https://twitter.com/TamaraAdrian/status/692803614016999425
    https://twitter.com/TamaraAdrian/status/692818636780802048
    https://twitter.com/TamaraAdrian/status/692819659675078656

    So keep the focus on Chúo, but is an exaggeration to try to crucify the entire Assembly.

    • Fair enough. You are right.

      But, TBH, what really pissed me off is that chavistas get respect and consideration for illegal stuff that should never have been done, while we get zero, for legitimate demands, that, whether you agree with them or not, you must acknowledge are being discussed all around the world and are one of the HR issues of the 21st century.

      • In case that I didn’t make it obvious, I’m still against the Chúo apology, because any attempt of fixing this country goes through recognizing that the corpse was a terrible president that bankrupted the country in order to sell our natural resources to foreign dictatorships in order to make himself and his cronies rich. So the creepy cult has to go, is primitive, is barbaric, and is very much on the way.

        Also, I simply can’t get arsed to care about the feelings of someone that rather make lines for food than have their precious feelings hurt. All that goes even when is evident that Allup himself leaked that video.

        That out, fortunately, Chúo will have less time for unfortunate declarations as the new President of ANTV. He isn’t a deputy and should stop giving declarations for the AN.

  9. Gay rights in Venezuela will eventually happen, sooner rather than later but you have to understand that timing is everything, if you want to be successful.
    In the USA Gay rights as Law came to be only after Society was more than 50% favorable to it.
    It took some cultural campaigning first and hard legislative battles at the local and federal level.
    When Obama was running as a candidate back in ’08 he wouldn’t publicly admit to support gay marriage because he knew he wouldn’t be elected. Once he got elected he waited until the right time to make it law and he did.
    IMO is better to invest the energy in public awareness so the climate becomes favorable for a passage of such laws.
    Reading from the comments it seems that the majority here agree with you the difference of opinion is that now is not the time.
    By the way, people on the streets would not automatically accept, let alone respect gays after a law is passed. It is a cultural thing and will take time.

  10. I agree with gay marriage and, especially, anti discrimination laws that include every type of minority. That said, I do believewe need to make a distinction between them. The latter is a priority, because it regards the well-being and quality of life of a huge portion of Venezuelans. The former, nevertheless, is in my opinion not a priority in the current situation on Venezuela, and it is this topic that Chuo referenced when he described gay rights as a first-world problem.

    I’ll explain my opinion. First, I believe Chuo meant that the problem was important, but not a priority in the current situation. His wording was unfortunate, but what I want to dissect is the message itself. Regardless, this article points out that even if it is not a priority, it is something that SHOULD be discussed, as many other non-priorities have been discussed. I tend to agree with this, but I can’t because of three reasons: it is a divisive issue, the other non-priorities were much less time-consuming, and even more importantly, I think this is an issue that deserves to be properly considered and introduced when the national climate is ready or distracted enough to be able to pass any law that makes real progress in gay rights.

    The problem in this climate is that this issue, as pointed out in this article and message board, is divisive. I cannot honestly say that most people in Venezuela approve of gay marriage, nor can I say that mos disapprove of it either. The whole world has made important steps in accepting it but there is still a lot of resistance. This resistance could cause major disalignments within the MUD, and a rift at this juncture would be catastrophic. PSUV has been able to keep message unity and they would propbably be able to do so equally well when discussing gay marriage. Can we risk this on an issue that is simply not pressing?

    Also, this issue, because of the many reasons pointed above and as seen in this message board, would be more time-consuming than the Divina Pastora monument or the Caldera birthday celebrations. I don’t agree that they should be wasting time on this, no, and believe gay marriage is WAY more important, but it would take much more time and time IS of the essence in this moment. So, in my opinion, if you are going to waste time, waste as little as possible.

    Lastly, I believe gay marriage and gay rights should be treated at a time when they can pass easily. Many countries have done so by waiting for the perfect opportunity. It is important to realize that a gay rights proposal that is publicly rejected could cause future politicians to stay away from the topic. This would be extremely damaging to the cause, and that is what would truly scare me.

  11. Honest and sincere question (and still being asked after referencing this article: http://caracaschronicles.com/2015/08/17/chavismos-lgbt-problem/)

    Would not the PSUV be possibly supportive of gay rights? It seems to me that gay marriage would be a rare thing that could actually cross ideological lines and find supporters on both sides, with the mostly the social conservatives within the Opposition wing being distinctly opposed.

    So is the concern about this dividing the AN or dividing a fragile MUD coalition specifically?

  12. I totally suscribe to Alexanders opinion above , Additionally from reading the bloggs I cant but notice that my comments have deeply offended quite a few of my gay fellow bloggers , people whose opinions and persons I respect.

    Being honest I did flip out and used a tone and rethorical license that I should have known would be offensive to many in this blog. For that I honestly apologize to all of them .

    Rousseau once wrote that you could only reason ‘in the silence of the passions’ , this shows how right he was in what he said…..

  13. Meh, que te puedo decir? I’m not convinced.

    In any case, I’ve been convinced for a long time that what this kind of conundrym actually makes interesting is a discussion about whether private preferences should be a matter of legalizing, that is, giving legal mechanisms that legitimize the preference, or de-illegalizing, that is, dropping the pretense that law has a role in legitimizing even the minutest details of a person’s life.

    For example, offended as many a gay man and woman may be by this statement, I see drug use as a similar issue. Should pot be made into a legal mechanism as in Uruguay or ahould the law just stay out of what I do with my time? Should ssm be a legal form of marriage or, if I show up to a judge for a marriage certifiate with another man, should the judge simply not have the mechanism “actually, you can’t do that”? And simply guve me my certificate?

    It is interesting to me to understand the actual role of the law in life, though it is obvious to me that most people’s unhhinking position is: there should be a legitimization of my life by law.

  14. When something is declared lawful or in practice treated as lawfull or permissible (there are statutes which enforcement is wiillfully neglected by athorities because they no longer have social currency) , that doesnt mean that it is considered morally commendable , only that it is legally considered by the State as condonable or allowable.

    You dont have to consider gay behaviour morally commendable to believe that it should be formally legalized or treated as lawful because moral judgments are not the same as legal mandates , the latter can be much more pragmatic than moral . Then again you ve hit on a very important distinction between legality and legitimacy so that some behaviours are treated as legal by the State but lack social legitimacy in that for most people they are rejectable or despicable . Whenever something is legal but socially illegitimate ( which means the social culture by a high percentage condems it or refrains from accepting it) then a tension is created between what if formally legal and what is socially approved (legitimate) .

    For example the regime is legal in that formally it came about as a result of a purportedly legal process but it is illegitimate because most people dont approve of its performance and would prefer to have a different governent !!

    Also sometimes its better that some things not be declared legal if they have enough legitimacy to avoid bringing forth a conflict which can be avoided and which is harmful to the operation of social order . In spanis Valencia there is an area of irrigated highly cultivated fields called La Huerta , because access to irrigation is so crucial often conflicts arise between neighboring properties about the access to irrigation channels , there are no formal regulations , only an informal court made up of old man who sit at the door to a church at the end of service every sunday and decide the differences which are brought to them , this systems has worked excellently for thousands of years , Some time ago some one proposed that the decisions be put in writing so they might be referred to in future cases , the proposal was approve but then the old men could never agree that what was written down reflected the decision they had made , so they went back to havin purely oral decisions saying our ancestors were wise men who understood the capacity of people to enter into sterile arguments when attempting to set things in writing …!

    • I like the example of the old man. It is an instance where the written down aspect was formally removed by law, that is, law itself decided it had no right to intervene one way or another. Life outside of law as opposed to against it, an acknowledgment that all of life cannot be legislated.

      Maybe it’s about removing the prohibition of ssm rather than legalizing it, as the active legal principle is the prohibition where the judge says no and not the fact that “oh, we simply haven’t written the legal script for that yet.”

  15. To compare Mexico, Colombia or South Africa with Venezuela in 2016 is unfair to those countries. Compare it to Haiti, Nigeria, Iraq or Syria.

  16. So gay papers are still the top priority on this blog… Or in Vzla: nit even for gays in Vzla. There are 100 or 300 things WAYYYYYYYY more important and urgent.

    • Can you tell me exactly why talking to movie directors about Dían del Cine Nacional is more important than getting rid of the Ley de Precios Justos?

  17. Ask any gay,lesbian, etc person in Vzla ( less than 5% of the population, to begin with, why don’t we focus on Indian Venezuelan Rights – they are far more ).. ask them what is their top priority, to be able to sign a paper of marriage in a War zone, or just to get food, a job, and a decent place to adopt children.

    This conversation is for well-to-do exiles,intellectuals, expatriates, or lesbians and gays with way too much time in their hands, Personal opinion: marriage is a mistake and unnatural, stupid society rules, and crap, 60% results in painful divorces, 90% result in artificial, unhappy unions.

    Meanwhile, do they have Tuna Cans to eat, or cancer medicine in Barlovento?

    What about the elderly? gays? not many again, or not? Non-gay and gay elderly people have lots more problems that stupid people worrying about gay marriage licences. Or do you think they live in Norway or Denmark? Just a retarded conversation for Vzla at this point.

    • I have the sneaking suspicion that if on one blessed day in the future, everything in Venezuela is suddenly and magically stabilized, not only will we mysteriously sense that day has in fact, happened, but the same tired arguments of “now is not the time!” and “why is this important?” will be used the very day after.

      Or even worse. People will say “Things are good. Why rock the boat? We don’t want to get people angry and go back to where we were.”

      These arguments against the timing of gay marriage are mostly bankrupt. You could pass gay marriage TOMORROW while you’re busy passing all manner of other laws honoring the 100th birthday of Caldera or whatnot, and it wouldn’t steal a grain of rice out of anybody’s mouth.

      I’ve really had quite enough of this. Nobody is asking for this tomorrow, but if people persist on suggesting that gay rights are of no consequence and a big joke, perhaps we should start organizing for this sooner rather than later.

    • Tus argumentos muestran que no eres más que un ignorante supino de los temas que planteas,

      El principal problema de los indígenas es la delimitación de sus tierras ancestrales y esa vaina es un trabajo que tomará años porque implica delimitar, medir, amojonar y expropiar y compensar económicamente hacendados en los estados Apure, Zulia, Barinas, Bolívar, Sucre, Monagas, Guárico, Delta Amacuro y Amazonas. Es decir, nada más en la actualización de la cartografía general escala 250mil se tomará más de 5 años. Así que ello no puede ser una excusa como lo planteas.

      El tema de la producción nacional no lo resuelve una ley; lo resuelve el cambio de gobierno porque nada haces con leyes que no son aplicables si no cuentas con los órganos ejecutivos para implementarlas; así que esa pendejada de que no habrá comida no es tampoco excusa válida.

      Y sobre la seguridad social, la Asamblea tampoco puede garantizar la disponibilidad de los recursos para la universalización de las pensiones; en cambio sí puede permitir que una pareja de ancianos homosexuales herede la pensión de uno de los pares fallecido, lo que les permitiría mantener un status económico mínimamente decente, en igualdad de condiciones que una pareja casada cualquiera.

      Y el que tú opines que los matrimonios no son útiles, lo único que demuestra es tu ignorancia sobre la finalidad práctica del contrato matrimonial, esa vaina no es simplemente un acto de bondad y amor eterno jurado; se trata de una relación mercantil y social con derechos legales en juego.

      • Hablas mucho de “ignoracia” pero demuestrame que ese papel, aquel contrato imbecil de matrimonio, diferente bajo multiples ‘religiones’ con diferentes disoses, no es lo mas estupidao que ha parido madre.

        Repito: Prehistorico.

        • Podemos tomar por ejemplo el siguiente:

          Gracias a ese papel, cuando tu papá se muera la casa en la que creciste le podrá quedar a tu mamá. No tendrá ella que pagar impuesto sucesoral para traspasar el dominio de los bienes adquiridos dentro de la comunidad conyugal ya que el matrimonio, es un contrato de comunidad de bienes entre dos personas que protege el patrimonio de ambas y les permite transferirlos a sus hijos, en algo que se define como patrimonio familiar.

          Cuando están jubilados o pensionados, o ambos si trabajó en una empresa que les reconociera ese derecho, si llega a morirse uno, el otro seguirá percibiendo los ingresos devengados por el fallecido, es lo que llaman pensión de superviviente, el superviviente de la comunidad conyugal.

          Cuando uno de ellos se muere, el otro puede reclamar el cuerpo del muerto en la morgue, porque es su cónyuge, no requiere de autorizaciones especiales, ni tener que depender de los padres, madre, hermanos o hijos del fallecido.

          Quizás es que tus papás están vivos y no te has planteado ese escenario, pero pregúntate, qué sería del padre superviviente el día que el otro dentro del matrimonio se muera?

  18. Picture this: 2 gay guys walking gayishly in the beach in Margarita. Except they have no shoes, old alpargatas, hungry after El Conejo died, no drugs to deal, no health insurance, no car, no future, could get shot tonight on a crack deal, or get shot in Caracas for their fancy car, and they are worried about Marriage Freaking Papers??!!

  19. Finally, marriage papers are beyond stupid, pre-historic, aberrant. For any sexual orientation. For gays and lesbian even more aberrant: they have to adopt kids, if they ever do, and then what.. a piece of paper makes it all seem nice and dandy for the adopted kids in the year 2050?

    If we are to be that “progressive” that stupid piece of paper should be utterly irrelevant. And in Vzla, a WAR zone about to explode, pleaaaase, let’s talk about global warming first. ” Henry Ramos: El Clima!! hay que conseguir carros bolivarianos con menos emisiones de carbono por el bien del planeta!!”

    • No pendejo, no van a conseguir pañales ni nada de esa vaina; pero al menos podrían comprar una casa en conjunto, desgravarla registrándola como vivienda principal, aplicar por las bonificaciones de carga familiar para reducir el ISRL a pagar y además si uno de ellos se muere, el otro podría heredar sin tener que perder todo su patrimonio ante un juicio contra el Estado o los familiares del fallecido.

      Obvio, que tu preocupación es que dos maricos no caminen juntos cogidos de la mano o que no puedan hacer una fiesta tomándose fotos frente a un registro; pero el tema detrás del reconocimiento de las parejas homosexuales es un básicamente económico y sucesoral.

      • Mira, triple pendejo, en Vzla no hay “leyes”, y mucho menos impuestos, o derechos a la propiedad o lo que sea.

        Como se dicimos en paises civilizados, pon tus pavos en linea. Emopieza por el principio, Pendejo.

        Y el principio, en el peor pais del mundo, empieza por que no te maten por un par de zapatos. Empieza tu lista por ahi, hasta el estupido papel de matrimonio.

        Y cuando te cases, gay or not, despues no bengas con otra lloradera a los 5 o 20 años de haber firmado el estupido papel. Es lo que casi siempre pasa. Cero lloradera, ok?

        • Bueno lo que pasa es que tú eres un disociado que se comió entero el cuento ése de que Venezuela es una suerte de anarquía total, en el país hay leyes, que no todo el mundo pueda estar bajo el amparo de ellas como debiera ser porque no haya estado de derecho no implica que lo que tú planteas sea una realidad. De ser así, no sé cómo estarías escribiendo pistoladas en el foro, porque deberías estar hace tiempo con una etiqueta en el dedo por culpa del robo un par de zapatos o un celular.

          Ordena tus ideas y sobre todo, resuelve con un psicólogo tu problema con las relaciones maritales. Que te hayas divorciado y te hayan dejado arruinado no implica que todos los matrimonios sufren el mismo destino.

          Y tampoco, no hay país en el mundo donde estés excepto de que te maten por un motivo fútil como un robo; deja de ver comiquitas de Disney y vuelve al mundo real. Hasta en Suiza de vez en cuando asesinan gente.

  20. I totally agree with the view that Vzla has far more pressing problems at the moment. People are dying because they can’t get medicines, very soon people will be dying because they can’t get food. This is not the time to be debating SSM. This is a time to be finding a salida from the disease that has been destroying Vzla for the last 17 years.

    • Again, another person loudly complaining now it’s not the time, while ignoring all the other distractions the AN has promoted, willingly.

      So, now is the time to invite movie directors to the AN and listen to their complains?

  21. This is so ridiculous. NO ONE is saying LGBT don’t matter. You want politicians to lie to you? Chuo could have easily just sent it to a subcommittee where it would have been lost in the shuffle. Instead he said the real reasons why this isn’t a priority.

    You are worried about getting some piece of paper that joins assets with another person? Less and less people are marrying these days anyways.

    Meanwhile there are people dying of lack of medicine, food and violence in the streets.

    The constitution and whatever remains from the little rule of law is about to be broken down with a battle between governmental powers.

    These comments and articles have to come from people who haven’t been to Venezuela within the last year.

    There’s just no way someone living the extreme situation happening in Venezuela has the guts to write this P.O.S article.

    Lastly, this article is comparing LGBT rights to an amnesty law for those who protested against an authoritarian government. The flaw in this argument is self-evident.

    Please CC, stop letting these incredibly flawed articles going live.

    It’s distasteful to say the least.

    • It really must be nice to have the privilege to do something you think is so terribly unimportant that the people who are fighting to have that privilege should just wait for it anyway.

      • Well, I will ask my sister who suffers from Parkinson’s disease and cannot find the medicine for it, if she wants the AN to devote time discussing same sex marriage instead of trying to solve the medicine problem affecting the whole country. I will get back to you.

        • Perfecto María, la pregunta para tí es: ¿Cómo se supone que una ley va a promover inversiones y abastecimiento de medicinas para Parkinson si quién está obligado a ejecutarlas es el gobierno (Poder Ejecutivo) y quién las obliga a cumplir son los tribunales (Poder Judicial)?

          Has caído en cuenta que una ley sólo por existir si no se aplica no resuelve en nada un problema? O acaso no existen ya los dólares al precio del mercado negro, sólo porque volvieron a penalizar el mercado paralelo?

          Tú te has planteado qué es lo que realmente se necesita en Venezuela para que digamos, vuelvan a haber medicinas para el Parkinson en las farmacias?

        • María, while you are on that, would you be so kind to ask your sister about the birthday of Caldera, the money that goes to movie producers and to the statue of La Divina Pastora?

          It is bizarre that no one cares about those issues wasting the time of the AN, but the mere hint of discussing gay rights, people become really vocal about priorities.

          • Cesar on another comment pointed out actual reasons why lack of gay marriage is affecting the LGBT population.

            Legitimate reasons that make sense and a hardship for the families who face them. It would have been very sensible to illustrate how many gay families in Venezuela are affected by lack of gay marriage rights and what ways with specific examples they have been affected.

            That would have made an article worthy of praise instead of this article comparing political prisoners to gay rights.

            This is the most objective way I can think of describing this:

            Take the Maslow Pyramid of needs:

            What is happening to Venezuela and suffering of the people is at a physiological level at the bottom of the pyramid while LGBT are above that on the pyramid of needs and don’t affect 99.9% of the population.

            That’s not to say both aren’t important.

            It’s the audacity to compare those things together. Let LGBT rights and marriage issues stand on their own merits instead of comparing it to unrelated issues.

            That is why this article has failed.

          • How does the Día del Cine Nacional fit on that Maslow hierarchy of Needs? How does the statue of La Divina Pastora fit there?

            You are ignoring that. The AN is not really as focused as it should be. I say give them some slack. And resources are being misused, even by oppo politicians, in a time of dire need, no one says anything about it. I will believe the sincerity of this outrage when people also complain on all the nonurgent issues the AN is tackling.

        • I’m really sorry, Maria. I personally stole all of the Parkinsons medication and sold it to the Colombians for a profit. I really needed the money; this wedding dress isn’t going to pay for itself.

  22. I guess one of the problems of gay couples and that most people aren’t aware is what happens legally when things go south. I was discussing this with a Spanish friend who married his Italian boyfriend and I was very surprised of how crappy the situation is. If his husband dies, because Italy doesn’t recognise gay weddings he would be unable to inherit anything that would rightfully belong to him as the partner. Even worst, if his partner goes in a coma he wouldn’t be able to take any decision for his husband as he is “not family” according to Italian law. I guess regardless of people’s approval of gay relationships or not, you can´t deny this kind of discrimination by the law is awful and should be stopped.

  23. I have the sneaking suspicion that if on one blessed day in the future, everything in Venezuela is suddenly and magically stabilized, not only will we mysteriously sense that day has in fact, happened, but the same tired arguments of “now is not the time!” and “why is this important?” will be used the very day after.

    Or even worse. People will say “Things are good. Why rock the boat? We don’t want to get people angry and go back to where we were.”

    These arguments against the timing of gay marriage are mostly bankrupt. You could pass gay marriage TOMORROW while you’re busy passing all manner of other laws honoring the 100th birthday of Caldera or whatnot, and it wouldn’t steal a grain of rice out of anybody’s mouth.

    I’ve really had quite enough of this. Nobody is asking for this tomorrow, but if people persist on suggesting that gay rights are of no consequence and a big joke, perhaps we should start organizing for this sooner rather than later.

    • That is exactly my feeling.

      I wasn’t so invested about this. Now, I am extremely upset. Specially for the blatant logical fallacies and the straw men about fictional über gay activists demanding gay marriage for yesterday. And also the lack of any comment at all about all the other stuff the AN does that doesn’t help a tiny bit to counter the emergency.

      • And did you happen to notice too, that suddenly all this consternation towards gay rights happens right after the country takes a giant liberalizing step by voting in a new AN?

        Were any of us asking for this months ago? No. We were hoping for a more democratic tomorrow. Well now tomorrow is here, and the question was idly put forth no doubt.. and look how absolutely snotty everybody gets about it.

        It’s all fear-driven. It’s the baseless fear that progress will be done in by the those selfish gays pissing off el pueblo into voting for the big red beret all over again.

        And it’s coming from our own side, which makes it all the more galling.

        I thought a simple majority was needed to pass legislation. You mean to tell me that between the liberals within PSUV and MUD there aren’t enough votes to pass this tomorrow in between whatever other legislation currently being passed that does nothing to better a single life or reflect a single right?

        Oops. I think I just asked for something tomorrow. How selfish of me. #sarcasm

      • See?
        That is the problem with discussing this topic.
        People that were not invested get incensed.
        Discuss a divisive topic and division will happen.

        Lets have a discussion about
        why there is no god, or how great is god,
        what is the best and the worst religion,
        what is the best sports team,
        should drugs be legalized or should we be tougher on druggies,
        is abortion immoral o should be legal,
        legalize prostitution (actually it is legal, lets ban it),
        quotas for women absurd or necessary?,
        and of course same sex marriage.
        Global climate real or are scientists wrong, again!

        Result? Division all over.

        Division here in CCSChron is no problem
        but for the MUD and for keeping and maintaining, –hopefully growing–,
        support of the people against the government, it is a big problem.
        They need to keep on message (in that they need to act like chavistas)
        and one of the keys to that is to stay away from divisive topics.

        All your rebuttals to Quico are correct
        and I disagree that LGBT rights it is not a priority
        I think it is important
        but it needs to be discussed in the AN
        when we do have a real AN

        Right now the AN is a flimsy crowded raft
        -standing room only-
        in the middle of the ocean being circled by sharks.
        We have to hold fast together, if we start pushing at each other
        it is going to be a carnage.

        • Ay mijo, si la posibilidad de divisiones ante una discusión es la excusa para no debatir nada mejor que bajen la santamaría de la Asamblea porque:

          a) Cuando se debata la Ley de Hacienda Pública Estadal que permita a las regiones independizarse financieramente del Poder Central y reforzar y oxigenar los liderazgos regionales, lo cual es uno de los puntos críticos para sacar adelante al país y evitar que nuevamente un melagólamo acabe con el país en el futuro, no van a caerse a cuchillo las distintas posturas en la MUD?

          b) Cuando se debata la Reforma del Código Civil para eliminar para siempre los delitos de opinión, tampoco se van a caer a cuchillo los que dentro de la MUD defienden y permitieron la existencia de las figuras del vilipendio y la acción penal contra la opinión antes de que apareciera el chavizmo, porque muchos de esos delitos estaban, y no los inventaron los rojos precisamente.

          c) Cuando se debata la Descentralización del sistema penitenciaron, tampoco se van a torpedear entre los que apoyan un Estado Central fuerte y unas regiones fuertes?

          d) Cuando se debata la descentralización de puertos, aeropuertos e infraestructuras; no van a matarse por el control de los ingresos derivados de ellos y sus respectivas aduanas?

          e) Cuando se debata el tema de la gobernabilidad de Caracas y la necesidad de o fusionarla a Miranda, o de separarla por entero llevándola a la condición de Estado para resolver esa mamarrachada que le debemos a Enrique Mendoza y su grupito; tampoco se va a discutir porque se van a caer a dientes por los intereses implicados?

          Asumo entonces que discutirán sólo pendejadas, fútiles y sin implicaciones sobre el statu quo que serán las únicas discusiones que no llevarán a la MUD a mostrar públicamente que tienen posturas distintas sobre los tópicos de la vida nacional.

          Y pilas que sólo menciono ejemplos de leyes que sí permitirían salir o proteger al país de esta situación a futuro, y que están dentro de la competencia estricta de la Asamblea; nada de esas pendejadas de leyes de producción, amnistía y acuerditos pajúos que no tienen aplicación directa porque no inciden sobre la verdadera causa del problema que dicen intentan resolver.

          • Todos esos temas que mencionas no son divisivos con la gente en general. A la población ni les va ni les vienen porque no son temas sobre los cuales tengan una opinión visceral como con los que mencioné.

            Las diferencias que en la MUD tengan en esos temas bien las pueden dirimir sin que ello les afecte la popularidad, ni sirva de cuña para dividir. De paso me imagino que lo harán cuando preparen los proyectos de ley de manera que cuando se discutan en la asamblea tendrán una posición relativamente homogenea.

            “si la posibilidad de divisiones ante una discusión es la excusa para no debatir nada mejor que bajen la santamaría de la Asamblea”

            Esa posibilidad esta siempre presente.

          • Pues tu escenario es muy tonto e inocente porque al final quienes montan la matriz de opinión de la división en la MUD no es la gente, sino los chaviztas.

            Acaso crees que un tema en el que hay puntos de vista diametralmente opuestos en la MUD como el de la descentralización no va a ser usado por los chaviztas para mostrar a la MUD dividida? Y además, siendo ello no un tema de derechos fundamentales, sino un tema de estructura política del Estado, van los de la MUD a mostrarse más ecuánimes y compactos que ante el caso de un tópico de derechos sociales o civiles?

            Pues, yo pienso que el enemigo no está pensando escenarios tan rosa como ustedes o como los de la MUD (o sus asesores). El día que tengan que discutir un tema, a la gente no le va a importar si el tema es de trascendencia nacional o no, si hay una apreciación visceral del mismo entre la gente o no la habrá porque el enemigo estará sembrando la matriz de opinión durante la discusión.

            Y mira, yo no creo que el tema del matrimonio entre homosexuales sea un tema tan visceral dentro de Venezuela, nadie ha hecho una encuesta al respecto, y el mismo puede venderse como lo que debe ser, el reconocimiento de una forma de contrato de comunidad de bienes entre dos personas, ni siquiera tienen que llamarlo matrimonio si no quieren ligar a la iglesia en el saperoco.

    • Guys, Guys!

      The new National Assembly was just sworn in less than one month, and everyone wants to pass the piece of legislation that they deem most important. But let’s remember that this new NA had just survived one constitutional clash that would have rendered their acts void.

      So while Chuo’s statement has been a disgrace, for those of us that wants to see some progress for a new Same Sex Marriage legislation to be approved, please cut them some slack, they have a gigantic work to do, and little time available.

      So I suggest for you guys to present the draft to the new National Assembly, directly to their deputies, and let’s the discussion begin. I sincerely doubt that anyone over-there will even consider blocking the draft. And fight for this new proposal to be discussed and everyone votes on that.

  24. The saddest thing about all this discussion is that the own Constitution states the principles for the immediately enactment of SSM (art. 2, 3, 19, 20, 21, 22). Under the principle of the equally recognizement of the rights of everyone to develop themselves as persons in the society.

    The argument that would be a time-consuming task or there’s no time to discuss about topic now, is not real, as the recognizing the rights granted by a SSM or similar formula is just a task of a 10-12 articles law after the revising of the previously existing draft.

    And it is not just the right to be recognized as one kind of family or social unit, it is the right to inherit, to be protected by the social security, to have their homes protected by the same tax benefits, to have their patrimony protected.

    The economic crisis won’t be resolved by enacting a law in the Assembly as it requires the change of the government, and the same applies for the jail crisis, the lack of dollars in the BCV’s reserves, or the lack of investment and the vicious circle of deflation in which Venezuela is swirling. It is absurd to use those crisis as arguments to deprive other people for the granting of rights stated in the Constitution.

    I suppose the next thing won’t be debated in the Assembly because it is not a priority will be the Law for the States/Regional Tax and Funding Reform; one of the most important pieces to dismantle the anachronic system that has destroyed this country. Of course, they and some of you will say that the public finances, and the independence of the regions is not as critical as the Amnesty, the recognizement of Rafael Caldera, the lack of diapers, or something like that.

  25. I have a wonderful idea. Every time that the AN is doing useless shit, let’s talk about gay rights. That way suddenly everyone and their mother will be incensed about priorities, and maybe we can get the AN back to the issues that it should concerned about, instead of talking to movie directors.

  26. There we go again… Besides the things I’ve already said in a post in another text, there is more. You’re are working with wrongs premises. First, it’s not about time in literal sense. Secondly, the premise that the majority of the MUD supporters or legislators and, more importantly, the majority of the country inhabitants and legislators support this move. Remember, a simple mathematical observation: Majority in the majority does not mean majority in the total. Think about that. You don’t know about the popularity of the move. Do you have any polls on hand?

    Coming back to the first premise: The superior goal, (yes, sorry, I consider it superior) is to grant democracy in the country. We must gather as much support as we can towards this goal. Once this goal is garanteed, then we can talk about other issues that may take a few people back towards the other side.

    I also would like to change many things in Venezuela, but I know how to live with the fact that maybe I don’t have enough support for that and that not all people think like me.

  27. What a great post.

    What I like the most about getting back the NA, is that all of a sudden there are some real society issues to be discussed.

    Chúo Torrealba is right that this is a first world issue. He is not right in putting it aside. If we want to start thinking about a first world country, it should be discussed. Gay rights are human rights and human rights are at the core of what progress and development means.

    I know, it may not be popular among Venezuelan people at large, but we must start building a new inclusive and progressive country and someone must take the initiative. That country cannot have segregation of any type, including sexual orientation.

    I applaud the authors for their post, and CC to put the issue in the tale.

  28. One important thing to consider in context is that the AN can only pass bills that have to be enacted by the government and approved by the TSJ, it cannot really lift the currency controls, it cannot do much about price controls and they know it, whoever thinks that the AN has any real intentions (or any real powers fot that matter) of provoking changes in the economic situation with Maduro in power is being naive. The AN game is to present itself as a viable alternative while chavismo melts down and provoke a change in the executive (BTW no one is talking about referenda or constitutinal amendments). In the meanwhile they can discuss and pass legislation in important matters, so if we can be honest and admit that discussing gay marriage won’t kill cancer and HIV patients we can have a real discussion about what really flips people out about discussing the issue, that you find it morally wrong.

  29. With all due respect to the people who are anxious for this change, the comments in this very blog indicate that there needs to be a national dialogue. Whatever changes eventually get made to the laws of Venezuela, we need to get it right. And, that requires time and effort on the part of all. This is not some formality that can be addressed and dismissed in a few hours. I still maintain that however offensive it may be to some to be told to wait, that the ultimate results will be better if they do.

    • As I said in the article, we know there are priorities, we know we need to wait, we know it won’t be a fait accompli. However, to say we cannot tackle basically until everything is fixed, is not acceptable. Flat out dismissal, coming from an appeaser of chavistas, is not right.

  30. Leaving aside the timing issue for the SSM debate in Vzla, there are some philosophical issues involved, not just in Vzla but anywhere. Seeking to put SSM on the same level as heterosexual marriage obscures an important fact. Heterosexual marriage is the building block of society. SSM is not a building block of society because it cannot reproduce society, it can’t even reproduce itself (every SS couple is the product of two heterosexual marriages). As for SS couples having the right to adopt children, I find that deeply disturbing. Surely every child has the right to grow up knowing what it is to have a mother and a father?

    • Yeah, let’s talk about Philosophy and Religion, and stupid matrimony papers in the most murderous country on the planet that is about to explode. Let’s talk about Astronomy, the possibility of water on Mars, or how to grow tomatoes on people’s balconies.

      Let’s talk about Fine Arts, Sculpture, or black&white gay photography, (I prefer lesbian pics) or sunsets in Fiji. Let’s discuss (from out comfortable homes overseas) the fate of polar bears or migratory bird species in the southern hemisphere. (they are sometimes gay too)

      Most of you people are WAAYYY out of touch. Plus the paper sucks, either way, anywhere, anyhow. Ask your family members, gay or not. Most of you people are just being politically correct, religiously biased, influenced by society’s crap, and in the end, end up divorced, or miserable in “marriage”. Gay or not.
      False?

    • “Seeking to put SSM on the same level as heterosexual marriage obscures an important fact. Heterosexual marriage is the building block of society. SSM is not a building block of society because it cannot reproduce society”

      If this is the very narrow definition of marriage, then we should deny it to elderly couples who seek to remarry, or the infertile. It should only be about children, shouldn’t it?

      I know two unmarried couples in midlife, one heterosexual, one gay, where both were dealing with a spouse dying of disease. In both cases, and towards the end of their lives, they both chose to marry. Why is this? It serves no utility, right? No possible procreative purpose, should it? And why towards the end when there was no chance left of a long and happy existence?

      Because marriage isn’t about having children, it’s about solemnizing love between two individuals. Old, young, fertile, infertile, gay, straight, even if death is near.

      This argument of yours by the way, has been used time and time and time and time again in every court system in every free and open society and was shot down every time. There is a reason why there are 21 countries where gay marriage is legal, and the common thread in all of these is that they are robust democracies.

      It’s a shame that Venezuela is nowhere near a healthy point in its existence as a free society at this time. I am from the old Venezuela, sadly. So it does perhaps render me slightly out of touch. But I am in touch with the rest of modernity, and it’s my hope that Venezuela joins it in time versus making the decision that it’s beyond hope and should limit itself towards more cynicism and more despair.

      And lets not be ugly. Let’s not throw people under the bus, or diminish other people’s relationships, or say people’s concerns are unimportant. Consider that marriage means so much that people who are dying still choose to marry. That it’s central to the identity of an individual, male, female, gay, straight, as part of a union greater than themselves and one which lets them grow spiritually as a person.

    • “Heterosexual marriage is the building block of society. ”

      Well, then, it’s a good thing no one’s talking about taking rights away from heterosexual couples, wouldn’t you agree?

      “SSM is not a building block of society because it cannot reproduce society, it can’t even reproduce itself (every SS couple is the product of two heterosexual marriages).”

      What about heterosexual couples that don’t want to, or can’t, have children? Are their marriages less valid? What about unmarried people who have children? Are they not “reproducing society”? Marriage has nothing to do with whether or not people reproduce.

      PS– Homosexuals are perfectly capable of reproducing. Lesbian couples have made use of donated sperm to have children, and gay men have made use of surrogates to carry their children for them. Science, ’tis like magic.

      “As for SS couples having the right to adopt children, I find that deeply disturbing. Surely every child has the right to grow up knowing what it is to have a mother and a father?”

      Every child has the right to know that even if their heterosexual mother and father abandoned them, there are people who love them enough to adopt them, even with people like you condemning them for it.

  31. All this argument got me wondering: where do opposition parties stand on all kind of social and economic issues? I mean, really. I think we’ve been thinking for far too long in terms of the reds and the rest. The reasons are obvious, of course, but it would be something interesting to clarify, given that (hopefully) a transition is looking quite possible.
    I’ve never been a fan of VP, but I admit they got some respect from me when I realized reading this article that they’re probably our most progressive party.

    • I am not sure it really matters what the social and political issues the MUD stands for. It is not a political party in the traditional sense, but a coalition of the Opposition parties. It exists for one purpose only and that is to remove the Chavistas from power. Once that goal is accomplished, the MUD will cease to exist.

  32. “This talk about a humanitarian emergency is not really an argument, it’s a pretext to avoid even talking about LGBT issues.”

    Easy, caballero. The above is untrue because the humanitarian is actually happening. If the baby just fell in the river, you don’t first stop to kiss the wife or husband or mate. There ARE priorities in this world – we can easily see why.

    And few would agree that focusing on do or die priorities (medicine, and the lack thereof, for starters) is is in fact a scam to avoid embracing gay rights. This is simply currying an enemy, and falsely positing everyone your foe who does not have your agenda. After all, if averting a failed nation and total social meltdown means shelving other issues, no matter how important, the humane choice seems obvious.

    You forced yourself into a corner when stating, “…this crap about “priorities” is a scam,” citing other daft examples of low priority issues taking center stage. By that wonky logic you are left with an either/or vantage, something that presently only applies to the dire need to bail a sinking ship by any and all methods.

    • I stand by my words.

      When I see people as outraged because the AN is wasting their time on all sort of absurd issues, I will believe it. People only seem to care about the mere possibility of the AN discussing LGBT rights, while their time wasting in other subjects is ignored or excused. I see a very big double standard.

      You said:
      “Easy, caballero. The above is untrue because the humanitarian is actually happening. If the baby just fell in the river, you don’t first stop to kiss the wife or husband or mate. There ARE priorities in this world – we can easily see why.”

      The crisis is real, nobody is denying that. My family and friends are suffering it, there is not a single day where I stop thinking about it. I am going to quote the article:

      “But currently we are not paying as much attention as we should to those issues, we are wasting time and resources on trivial stuff.”

      “Having said that, sure – and, gay or not, everyone agrees on this – there are more pressing matters.”

      “Are you going to be devoted to the emergency? By all means. Get incensed. Fight to avoid it. But be serious about it. And don’t use such a dreadful situation to cover your prejudice or your apathy.”

      The fact that the crisis is happening does not prevent it being used as an excuse for everything.

      “And few would agree that focusing on do or die priorities (medicine, and the lack thereof, for starters) is is in fact a scam to avoid embracing gay rights. ”

      But the AN is NOT focusing on these issues! Mijo, o es chicha o es limonada. If you are going to focus on the urgent, by all means, do so. But don’t go wasting time on Día del Cine Nacional, Divina Caldera and making a point of the property law (how does exactly helps to get food or medicines?) and then tell us that we don’t have time to wait. It sounds hollow and insincere.

      ” This is simply currying an enemy, and falsely positing everyone your foe who does not have your agenda. After all, if averting a failed nation and total social meltdown means shelving other issues, no matter how important, the humane choice seems obvious.”

      If it is so obvious, why the AN is not taking it?

      You are asking us to give up our demands, not even listening to us, dismissing our needs, while letting everyone else and their dog push their agenda at the AN. I am not buying this argument, man.

      “You forced yourself into a corner when stating, “…this crap about “priorities” is a scam,” citing other daft examples of low priority issues taking center stage. By that wonky logic you are left with an either/or vantage, something that presently only applies to the dire need to bail a sinking ship by any and all methods.”

      I am not denying that priorities exist. I am denying that they are being taken seriously.

  33. Great post. Sadly, I believe there was a better chance for an SSM bill being approved by the former chavez controlled congress than by the current one

  34. Well, shit, you make some good points.
    I’m pretty sure it would pass, by the way. Our politicians really don’t have strong opinions one way or the other. The only thing they care about is hurting the government. So if this really were something that the populate had in mind, they would make it an important issue. But, honestly, venezuelans, including lgbt community, are just apathetic to this issue at the current time.

  35. I couldn’t agree more. Go on pressing ahead for this. We need to learn how to treat minorities. I was appalled by Francisco’s post.

  36. “I am not denying that priorities exist. I am denying that they are being taken seriously.”

    Actually I agree with most everything you have said. But especially this last statement. When my daughter, who is doing her residency in pediactrics in CCS, says that she might not continue with medicine because the situation is so bad, and she has to watch kids needlessly die for the lack of medicines, I too am torqued by MUD’s seemingly glacial pace at getting a damn thing done. Guess I am just frustrated by the whole chingadera.

    • Oh, I think you are expecting too much from what the AN can actually accomplish.

      The AN is right now walking a tight rope trying to be relevant without –lets say it out loud– provoking the government into a fujimorazo. The AN is mostly a place to make some noise, attract attention, do some political posturing, but it has no real power against the Executive with the TSJ and the military.

      They have to play a delicate game of chess against the regime with several missing pieces.

      The only thing they can do is present themselves as a viable option for the people.

  37. “First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action;” who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.” – Martin Luther King

  38. It saddens me to read this. How far we are from real progressive thinking and actions. As far as LGBT and gay marriage, the MUD is just el mismo musiu con otro cachimbo. Not to mention the bigotry of many of the comments here.

  39. Guido,

    Thanks for this article. I utterly agree with you and disdain the injustices perpetrated and continue to be perpetrated to LGTBs thanks to the lack of regulation.

    Perhaps, a great follow up piece (which is fantastic), would be a summary of the most notorious cases of rights infringements and injustices.

  40. I’ve said it before, but I’ll place it here too, for what’s worth: If you focus up close on something, you miss the bigger picture.

    Understand: The large majority of Venezuela doesn’t seem to agree on SSM. If you’re on Caracas or in Valencia or in, I don’t know, Barcelona, maybe you can get a good crowd that doesn’t heckle you with stupid, childish jokes. But if you go to Calabozo or Araure, being gay can get you seriously hurt. Even in Caracas a trans person can be shot on the street and the large of the population is like “meh, I don’t really care”, only a few of us get outraged. Remember, this is a country where the biggest asshole of planet Earth, Pedro Carreño, can get on the AN and denounce Capriles for being gay with the nastiest, most repulsive references and absolutely nothing happens (Diosdado does it too from time to time on his latrine tv show).

    What I’m trying to say is that if we’re to reach SSM (that we should, long overdue), at this point, after 16 years of chavismo, we need to campaign for it. We need to create understanding. How about starting now? Agreed, we should start now and from that point of view, Chúo’s words are not the best. On the other hand, you must understand from where the guy’s speaking. He MUST pick his words carefully because even though we don’t like it, the vast majority of Venezuela think “maricones” is a proper term for gays.

    Why Divina Pastora and the movie stuff was discussed? Not because it’s more important, guys, but because it’s easier to digest. And that’s not Chúo’s fault, or MUD or whatever; it’s a mark of who we are as a society. Try to think as Hermelindo Guaramato in Apure. Do you think he’s going to be fine with the new AN discussing SSM while we are at the lowest point we’ve been since the Federal War? “But if we’re on an emergency, why talk about Divina Pastora?” Because it has a LOT of fans. Politics is a filthy affair and we must keep pushing for things like SSM to be discussed and eventually turned legal. But right now, these guys are playing chess and they must be careful with how they choose the pieces to move. Because there’s a lot of people watching, not only us.

    • Yes Vic, your thought is fine if we thought about the Assembly as a mere fanclub, but the problem is that there’s a lot of problems that they should be discussing, and they have only 3 years to accomplish a lot of changes in the law scheme.

      Of course SSM marriage is not the biggest issue, but if you take in count the economical implications of it, you could think it would be a point up for example to attract financial and human capital into the country.

      It is not valid the excuse of the popularity of the topic. As an example let’s think about Spain, when they enacted SSM they were going out from the catholic-fascist-ultra-conservative Franco’s regime; it was not popular but the law enforced a 180º change in the society. The same would happen in Venezuela.

      The problem with this episode at the end is not the unhappy way Jesús Torrealba avoided to open the discussion of SSM at the AN, or the way he expressed his own opinion as if he were a deputy in the AN, the problem is that if every topic that would bring discussion in the AN will be avoided, the AN should close.

      If the agenda is to keep the status quo in Venezuela to let Maduro hindered and sank himself and prepare a revoke at the end of 2016, we don’t need of them discussing stupid topics paid by the contributors money. They have to set the legal frame to make the restoration of the country more viable, and all the topics involved will be of a divisionist kind, as between the parties inside MUD there are many points of view about topics like decentralisation, taxes, liberalisation of economy, opening of the investment in the petrol industry, the transfer of competences to the regions and townships and the function and size of the State.

  41. This isn’t about “priorities”. This is about wanting to have a real democracy brought uppon an really illiterate crowd and not having the balls (or brains) to discuss real democracy issues.

    I don’t think anyone would say that minority respect and separation of powers eclipse one another in a real democracy. And that should be well understood by a political minority tha was disciminated for the past 17 years.

    Scarcity of goods and medicine (of which I suffer as much as any of you) is just a red herring for the “liberal” not wanting to move forward on a modern democratic agenda for fear of crashing into a conserative popular wall. For the conservative caucus (in which surely most of the chavistas and a big chunk of the MUD can shake hands) , it is just the perfect excuse.

  42. Excellent article!

    Torrealba oozed contempt for lgbt people. That was the essence of his message: You’re less than nothing, you’re nobody. The “priorities” fig leave was an accessory. Sad that the usually astute Mr. Toro took the bait.

  43. So people basically clicked on this article, didn’t even read it and proceeded to comment because their opinion is more important than others’ human rights. I can easily see that most of the users that keep saying “it’s not a priority”, did not understand -not even close- the argument of the writers. Good luck trying to rebuild a country where the continue use of the demagogic argument “the necessity of the majority” keeps surpassing rational solutions for greater good.

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