Pedro Julio Serrano promises resistance to defend LGBTT rights
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual & Transgender (LGBTT) rights activist Pedro Julio Serrano thundered Thursday against Puerto Rico’s governor-elect Ricardo Rosselló’s administration, promising resistance before the possibility that the new government, ruled by the New Progressive Party (NPP), may try to remove rights from that community.
Serrano lamented both Puerto Rico’s NPP government election, as well a “nefarious” future in the U.S. with Donald Trump as the nation’s 45th president.
“In terms of the Puerto Rican nation, I must say that I am as disappointed as with happened in the United States with Trump, because here triumphed a governor that has promised to come with a discrimination agenda, to set back progress on the victories we’ve had on the fight for LGBTT rights, and we will face any attempt to set that back,” sentenced the gay leader on a radio interview with WKAQ 580.
Serrano added that “we expect a fight here, and we saw it yesterday in various U.S. cities. Here from now, since Rosselló announced he was going to eliminate the Circular Letter [from the Education Department regarding gender perspective], the fight began. The resistance began against any attempt to revoke rights from people. We have fought a lot in Puerto Rico, our fight has cost blood, sweat and tears. We have lost many lives in the name of hate. But I tell you that we will face it, there will be a resistance here against any attempt to revoke rights to the LGBTT community, we won’t take a step backwards.”
Alas, when asked why he hasn’t tried to extend a communication gateway with the incoming administration, Serrano assured he doesn’t dismiss dialogue, although he maintained his combative discourse against any attempt to silence voices from the LGBTT community.
“I would love to extend a [communication] bridge and give [Rosselló] the benefit of doubt. And I am always open for dialogue and willing to tend to those bridges. But yesterday, on his first day as governor-elect, he already had his first aggression against gender equality, against gender perspective, against the LGBTT community, against women, in favor of domestic violence, when he assured he would revoke the Education Department’s (ED) Circular Letter. That is an aggression against a culture of peace and inclusion, and not only that, it is a law breach because there is an existing law that forces the ED to extend a curriculum with gender perspective teaching on public schools,” affirmed Serrano, adding that if the governor-elect tries to remove the letter without due process of public hearings in the Legislature, he would take the case to court.
“That is the threat of Ricardo Rosselló’s government and we won’t take a step back. He already gave the first blow, the first aggression was his, the first violence was his. We will respond with love but firmness,” he added.
However, minutes later, the gay activist talked with the radio station again and retracted his combative discourse as he softened his tone on his rhetoric against the NPP and the governor-elect.
“I send a truce message to the governor-elect, Ricardo Rosselló. I ask the NPP for a truce, I ask them to sit to talk to us, to listen, that if they already placed some LGBBT issues on their platform, that this is the moment to listen to this community that is hurt, that has suffered so much disenchantment and so much disillusion–a community that has lost so many lives to discrimination and hate, and understand that we are human beings. We deserve to have the same rights, and the same respect, and the same equality that they demand so much in their relation with the United States. I strongly ask the governor of Puerto Rico and the NPP government to sit with the LGBTT community,” he said among tears.