Wednesday, April 21, 2021
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Trans Ecuadorians celebrate new national ID law

Trans Ecuadorians
Diane Marie Rodríguez leads the Ecuadorian Federation of (LGBT) board in celebration with President Correa welcoming the adoption of the law which legalizes trans self-identification and changes the ‘sex’ option for ‘gender’.

“At 18 and only for one time the field sex can be changed with gender.” said the Federation statement, accompanied by a picture which reports that the new law passed last week by the majority of the National Assembly of Ecuador.

The current Ecuadorian identity card, there is only the field ‘sex’, which can be male or female; but with this new change, one can choose the ‘gender’ field, with its variety of options.

Update! President Correa has partially vetoed the bill  sending it back to the legislature so that wording banning same sex marrriage and adoption, already banned by constitutional amendments can be added.

 The statement concluded with “Several months ago, the LGBT community has called for their rights, but following the decision of the legislature, this group is satisfied, noting that their rights are being respected.”

Apparently, not everyone is satisfied, or feel respected even those who poke fun of the law.

Diane Rodríguez
Diane Rodriguez photo Wikipedia

Cristina Villagómez wrote in the Pan Am post Homophobic Correa Starts LGBT Federation in His Pocket painting a very different and ominous picture.

“The truth is that the Rafael Correa administration hand-picked the Federation’s board of directors. They all support the ruling party, and view themselves as loyal advocates of Correa’s Citizen Revolution. Like the directors, the organizations that comprise the federation are government supporters as well.”

“Groups that have had disagreements with President Rafael Correa, such as the Civil Marriage Equality, Everything Improves, or the Ecuadorian Foundation for Equity, weren’t invited to the “national dialogue,” nor the federation.”

Yes, I know sounds like sour grapes but then again…in 2015 the Ecuadorian legislature removed presidential term limits potentially installing President Rafael Correa for life.

What of the LGBT groups who say that they were excluded? What is their fate?

The International NGO law monitor reports  that on June 20, 2013, Executive Decree No. 16 came into force, creating the National Secretary of Politics Management which is now the authority responsible for regulating the fulfillment of the objectives and activities of social and civic organizations. This authority has shut down NGO’s for not “fulfilling their objectives,” or “acting like a political party that affects the internal security of the state as well as public peace.” The targeted NGO’s are powerless to appeal since there are no legal options to protest their closure.

But what of the opponents of the law? They too face government censure.

Trans Ecuadorians
Bonil’s cartoon shows a woman asking a pregnant woman: “What will it be? Man or woman?” The pregnant woman responds: “I don’t know. We must wait to see which it chooses on the identity card.”

University of Texas, Austin JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog reports that

Ecuador’s controversial agency that controls the content of media outlets (Supercom, as it is known for its acronym in Spanish) has again admitted a complaint against newspaper El Universo for a cartoon created by Xavier Bonilla, known as Bonil.

The complaint, filed on behalf of the Ecuadorian Federation of LGBT Organizations, concerns a cartoon by Bonil published in the newspaper on Dec. 28, 2015, according to El Universo.

Supercom admitted the complaint for alleged failure to comply with Article 62 of the Law of Communication,El Comercio reported.

The article also “prohibits the dissemination of message through media that constitute advocacy of discrimination and incitement to carry out practices or violent acts based on some sort of discriminatory message

In January 2014, Bonil was the first media worker summoned by Supercom after the agency was created in 2013, according to a previous report from the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. Officials said his cartoon depicting a police search of the house of a journalist and activist was defamatory.

Newspaper El Universo, which published the cartoon, was forced to publish a “correction” cartoon and was fined.

Then, in February 2015, Supercom forced Bonil and El Universo to publish an apology for a cartoon it determined violated the Law of Communication by distributing discriminatory content. A group of Afro-Ecuadorian organizations filed a complaint concerning the cartoon, which depicted a ruling party representative having troubles reading a speech at the National Assembly.

National and international organizations dedicated to freedom of expression and of the press have repeatedly condemned Supercom’s work


“Although the Organic Law of the National Service Management Identity and Civil Dato, was not approved as is expected, of all ways is a breakthrough,” said transgender woman Diane Marie Rodríguez Zambrano “, president of the National Federation of LGBTI organizations.

According to the ruling, give the person when you reach the age of majority, the right to gender determination which is an important step.

I regret that several organizations have engaged in insulting delegitimize struggles for the rights of LGBTI and eventually get nothing. said Rodríguez.

Eduarda Alice Santos
Trans woman, activist, writer and translator from Portugal (that's in Europe)


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