Guatemala steps backwards on lgbtq and reproductive rights

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The Guatemalan Congress on Tuesday passed the “Law for the Protection of Life and the Family,” a significant step backwards for reproductive rights and for LGBTQ+ people, leaders of the Metropolitan Community Church denomination said.

 

President Alejandro Giammattei declared March 9 a “Day of Life and Family.”  The new law, according to its authors, was necessary “because minority groups in society promote ideologies and practices that are inconsistent with Christian morality.”

 

“Nonsense,” said Rev. Elder Hector Gutierrez, who leads Community Development for the MCC denomination.  “This law punishes women who have abortions with up to 10 years in prison, and further prohibits same-sex marriage, which is already not permitted in Guatemala.  This action by Guatemala’s Congress, with the support of its president, only furthers the marginalization of women and the persecution of LGBTQ citizens.”

 

The new law also rejects so-called “gender ideology,” banning the teaching of sexuality issues in schools, as “it can divert the identity of a child according to his birth gender.”

 

“Again, nonsense,” Gutierrez said.  “Children do not become transgender – or lesbian, gay or bisexual – because of what they are taught.  On the contrary, children learn to accept themselves as they are when they are accepted at home, at school and at church.  That’s what our denomination supports.”

 

“As a global denomination that espouses the teachings of Jesus Christ, we reject – wholesale – these restrictions on freedom,” said Rev. Cecilia Eggleston, moderator of MCC churches worldwide.  “We call on our churches in the Americas and on all right-thinking Christians to oppose these measures, and to express such opposition to the leaders of Guatemala – and any other congress or president who proposes such oppression.”