Gustavo Petro, Mayor of Bogotá, Invites Residents In Colombia's Capital To Come Out Of The Closet

10/12/2012 04:47 pm ET | Updated Jul 28, 2014

The Mayor of Colombia’s capital wants residents to come out of the closet.

To help fight discrimination against the LGBT community, Bogotá’s Mayor Gustavo Petro launched a week-long celebration entitled “Sexual Diversity and Gender Identity” on Thursday, according to Colombian newspaper El Espectador.

The Mayor’s Office and Bogotá’s District Department of Social Integration (SDIS) kicked-off the week by hosting the event ‘Por una Bogotá sin Closets’ (For a Bogotá without closets) in which officials pledged to promote the rights of the LGBT community.

“This week is an attempt by the city to generate a space in which they, [members of the LGBT community], are recognized as holders of a valuable knowledge, which merits a place and an opportunity,” a press release asserted.

“Be you, Be with me”--is the slogan of the city’s newest initiative to combat homophobia and ensure equality in the workplace. According to a recent government study reported in the Spanish-language weekly, 20 percent of the city’s residents consider LGBT individuals a “risk” to the community as a whole.

In Colombia, homesexuality was considered a crime punishable by law until 1980. Since 1993, the country’s courts have begun granting rights to the LGBT community. In June 2011, Colombia’s Constitutional Court gave “family” status to same-sex couples living in de facto unions and imposed a two year deadline on Congress to definitively resolve the issue of same-sex marriage in the country.

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