The LGBTI * Diversas Association, in Tenerife, has publicly denounced this Friday “the discriminatory attitude” exercised towards this organization by the Los Realejos City Council “and that has consisted of imposing an” ideological veto against the group “that has blocked the projects that the entity had been developing in the municipality since its constitution, with the “deterioration of local diversity policies and for LGBTI * people in the municipality.”
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In a press conference at the headquarters of the group, representatives of Diversas reported the “serious situation” they are suffering, generated by the City Council, led by Manuel Domínguez, of the Popular Party (PP). According to the organization, the municipal government has communicated the severance of all relations, the “veto” to any project developed in the municipality and has “imposed threatening conditions” to continue participating in the Technical Commission of the Affective-Sexual Education Plan .
The president of Diversas, Sergio Siverio, has reported that “the Councilor for Equality, Macarena Hernández and the Councilor for Youth, José David Cabrera, transferred by order of their mayor, Manuel Domínguez, that Diversas would stop receiving public funding for having dared to criticize the right and extreme right in a Pride manifesto ”.
According to Siverio, “it is an inadmissible ideological veto that reveals a campaign of hatred and censorship against our entity for the simple fact of defending our rights.”
The president of Diversas reported that this decision, attributable only to the government group of the Realejero City Council, supposes “the unjustified blocking of social projects that were benefiting citizens, on education in diversity for the institutes or actions of awareness and visibility that improve the living conditions of LGBTI * people ”. According to the data provided by Diversas, more than 300 people from Los Realejos have benefited in 2021 from the organization’s free services, being the second municipality on the island with the most users.
Activist outrage at “inadmissible displays of hatred”
For his part, the Secretary of Diversas, Fran Baute, made a very critical assessment of the “hostile and discriminatory” attitude that the Los Realejos government group has endured for months. “We are absolutely outraged by what is nothing but a totally ideological act of hatred that the PP is leading and that we are suffering for the exercise of our right to freedom of expression,” he said.
Baute reported that “only two municipalities have refused to join the ASTERISCO Network: La Guancha and Los Realejos, both governed by the PP, in a decision that responds to an express order from Manuel Domínguez.” This network is made up of more than a dozen city councils governed by parties as disparate as Coalición Canaria, Sí se Podemos, PSOE, Citizens, municipal parties or even the Popular Party, which, in the opinion of the entity, shows “ideological sectarianism presiding over this unjustified veto ”.
The situation has reached such an extreme that, according to Siverio, “they have been able to force us to attend to vulnerable users on the street, because the City Council refused to temporarily grant us a municipal space to carry out care.” Therefore, according to the organization, “it is preferred to endanger LGBTI * people in the municipality before collaborating with the only LGBTI * entity that operates in this area of the island.”
In addition, it denounces that the City Council is trying to carry out actions on this issue “to hide the veto from us, ignoring us and suggesting that other professionals or groups can better carry out the actions that we also promote in the municipality,” says Baute. In this sense, they ask for “activist solidarity so that our colleagues do not let what they are doing to us pass, becoming accomplices in an attack that affects us today, but tomorrow could affect anyone.”
Los Realejos, according to Diversas, “has been a benchmark in affective-sexual education policies that the current government group, headed by Manuel Domínguez, is burying with the ideological attack that Diversas is suffering and that we will not allow to remain unpunished”. It also demands political responsibilities and insists that it will continue to meet the demands of the LGBTI * people in the municipality, “despite the ideological veto imposed by the PP.”