Spain’s ultra right wing political party, Vox, is trying to track down the names and information of people linked to the LGBTI organization, COGAM.
On Tuesday, 9 July, Vox put in a request to the Board of the Governing Council of the Assembly of Madrid. It requested the names of people associated with COGAM who had given informative talks about the LGBTI community at schools. It also requested the names of the schools where the presentations were made.
Vox also asked the Governing Council for the content of the presentations and description of activity from 2015 onwards.
COGAM defended its school’s program arguing that LGBTI education helps reduce anti-LGBTI bullying and violence. In 2018 alone, more than 10,798 participated in COGAM’s educational programs which it said were always well received.
The organization also accused Vox of trying to intimidate and erase the LGBTI community. COGAM’s vice-president compared Vox to Spain’s former totalitarian governments.
‘They want to polarize our society by making lists of people who do not think or feel like them, as they have done several totalitarian parties throughout history and whose consequences are well known,’ Jesus M Grande said.
‘They are persecuting and criminalizing our collective. Yesterday it was the feminist collectives, today us, who will it be tomorrow? ‘
‘Go back to the cave’
It is not the first time Vox has tried to access the personal data of groups it opposes. Earlier this month in Valencia it requested information about LGBTI collectives, gender and domestic violence groups.
Carmen García de Merlo, president of COGAM said Vox’s view belong in the past.
‘We have nothing to hide, but VOX requests criminal data by bypassing the Data Protection Law,’ García de Merlo said.
‘Our mission is to work for the rights of LGBT + people in equality and diversity, anyone who wants us to go back will have us in front of us.’
García de Merlo added: ‘We work and will work with all parties and people who want to sit with us, but we will remind each of them what we want and what they have done for them.’
‘We work for a world in which we all fit in equality and diversity; those who do the opposite should go back to the cave.’