One of the most powerful Catholics in the South American nation of Peru has publicly used a homophobic slur to refer to his country’s first openly gay congressman in decrying attempts to allow legal recognition to same-sex couples.
Bishop Luis Bambaren’s comments were reported by Lamula.pe, who quoted him as saying, ‘I am totally against [the draft Civil Union bill]’
‘The law is unnecessary – you can form an arrangement with another person and put the rules in the administration of property … Congressman Carlos Bruce is making a fool of himself with all of this, looking like a [faggot] in the middle of everything. He himself has said that he is gay, gay is not the Peruvian word, the word is [faggot].’
The Spanish word that Bishop Bambaren used to describe Congressman Bruce is ‘maricon’ – a homophobic slur in the Spanish speaking world, though some LGBTI people say they have reclaimed it.
Bishop Bambaren has a history of such offensive statements and had to apologize publicly for calling members of the LGBTI community ‘maricons’ in 2011.
‘I ask for an apology for everyone who felt offended,’ he said in 2011.
‘It is an offensive word, and [gay people] deserve respect.’
However it seems the bishop does not believe that respect extends to Congressman Bruce and his efforts to have civil unions legalized in Peru.
Congressman Bruce responded to Bishop Bambaren on Facebook earlier today – calling on him to apologize again to the LGBTI community in Peru.
‘Was it not the Catholic Church the who preached the love of neighbor and non-discrimination?’ Congressman Bruce wrote.
‘I demand that you apologize not only to me but to the the 3 million Peruvians that share my sexual orientation.’
The Peruvian Congress’ Justice Commission is expected to meet to make a decision on the fate of the bill today.
As recently as 10 hours ago Bruce was optimistic about it’s success in the committee.
‘I can assure you that civil unions are going to pass sooner rather than later because that is the right direction of the story,’ he wrote.