Public declaration of the Uruguayan Association of Free Thought and the International Association of Free Thought
Response to declarations of Pastor Marquez concerning the sexual orientation of citizens
Montevideo, 7th February 2017
Law 17.817 of 6th September 2004, entitled “Fight against Racism, Xenophobia and Discrimination” concludes with the need to analyze constantly the national reality, and declares, finally, “Discrimination means any distinction, exclusion, restriction, preference or exercise of physical and moral violence based on ethnic origin, color of skin, national origin, disability, physical appearance, gender, sexual orientation or identity, the object and result of which would be to nullify or impair the recognition, enjoyment or exercise in terms of equality of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the spheres of public life, such as politics, economics, social and cultural issues.”
This law clearly claims to promote living together on the basis of respect, mutual tolerance, acceptance of “the other” discriminated against by the subject who bases his or her judgment – in particular – on inherited prejudices, tradition, dogma, philosophical current or current of thought.
As a natural extension of secularism proclaimed by Article V of the Constitution of the Republic, the State must strive to promote and defend the rights of all citizens outside any ideological or religious primacy. In this context, representatives of the institutions of civil society have a serious responsibility to respect and foster a climate of good understanding and mutual respect.
In view of these considerations, the defamatory and absurd remarks addressed to a category of citizens and made by Pastor Marquez: “The gay lobby promotes pedophilia and zoophilia” go against the above principles and foster religious intolerance. The very fact that Marquez is at the head of a religious institution integrated into Uruguayan society greatly aggravates the scope of his preaching, based on hatred and prejudice.
In view of all that has been said, the Uruguayan Association of Free Thought (AULP) requires that the State diligently investigate, based on the available television archives, in order to determine whether there has been a breach of the Penal Code of Uruguay and, if so, strongly condemn any interference with public order or civil peace.
Article 149 BIS : Inciting hatred, contempt or violence against specific persons: “Anyone who, in public or by any means appropriate to a public broadcast, would incite hatred, contempt, or any form of moral or physical violence towards one or more persons, because of skin colour, ethnic origin, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or sexual identity, shall be punished by imprisonment of between three and eighteen months.”
Uruguayan Association of Free Thought (AULP)
Member of the IAFT