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Mayor creates gay branch for Bogota, Colombia

Mayor creates gay branch for Bogota, Colombia

Gustavo Petro, the mayor of Colombia's capital, Bogota, has launched the LGBTI Affairs Branch to address local problems of discrimination based on sexual-orientation.

The group will also build an education and events venue to further raise awareness of other lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex issues throughout the city.

Despite a 2007 ruling that granted Colombian same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples, reports of homophobia continue to plague the city. According to a LGBTI Public Policy Poll, up to 98% of Colombian gay and lesbians report discrimination based on their sexual orientation.

Petro, the former leftist guerilla elected to office October 2011, has long been a vocal supporter of gay, bi and trans rights. In January 2012 he appointed the capital's first transgender public official.