Praiseworthy Puerto-Rican padre Ricky Martin has taken to his blog to express his sorrow over a shitty new penal code the 51st state is about to vote on. According to Edge, the revised “codigo penal de Puerto Rico” eliminates protections for LGBT folk from its hate crimes law.
The whole thing sounds generalmente estupido, seeing as ethnicity and religious beliefs would no longer qualify as hate-crime-related, while political affiliation, age and disability are included. So if I assault you because you’re an octogenarian wheelchair-bound Republican (such common targets!), that’s a hate crime; but if you get assaulted because someone hates Jewish transmen, that’s a no-go?
This isn’t a great move, especially when you consider the fact that “nearly two dozen LGBT Puerto Ricans have been murdered on the island since late 2009,” including “gay teenager Jorge Steven López Mercado, who was stabbed to death before his decapitated, dismembered and partially burned body was dumped alongside a remote roadside near Caye.” Ugh.
Here’s what Ricky had to say, as translated by Instinct magazine:
“I am very saddened by the turn it has taken in Puerto Rico on the discussion of the criminal code proposing to eliminate the aggravation in cases where crimes are committed by prejudice against the victim.
“Today, when great nations are focused on providing its citizens basic rights, some politicians of my country promote inequality and hatred. They should do a little homework and review the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted, a document declaring the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1948 in Paris, which says “Everyone (citizens) are equal before the law and entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law ….”
Though he doesn’t mention the gays specifically, and he ought to, given Puerto Rico’s horrendous recent history of brutal action against LGBTs, at least he’s got the right idea. Hopefully the Puerto Rican Senate will get the message before the upcoming vote.
If not, it might be time for us and our allies to call these lawmakers. Or we could just get on Grindr and send their naughty legislators some DMs about it.
Photo via tiancastro’s Flickr