New President in Paraguay compares gays to monkeys, then apologizes

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The new president of Paraguay has been elected, bringing the conservative Colorado Party back into power a week after the new president publicly voiced anti-gay views.

Millionaire businessman Horacio Cartes beat out Liberal Party’s Efrain Alegre with 45.8 percent of the votes. Cartes said he plans to lead Paraguay in a new direction, but that new direction does not include marriage equality.

In a radio interview during the last days of his campaign, Cartes said that if he were to find out his son wanted to marry another man he would “shoot himself in the balls.”

Cartes also compared the LGBT community to monkeys swinging on trees and compared the fight for same-sex marriage to the end of the world.

Somos Gay, an LGBT human rights group in Paraguay, put out a statement about the remarks asking for an apology from their president. 

“The terrible remarks Horacio Cartes shows the need for other political figures to come forward to speak against homophobia,” a spokesperson for the organization said. “We need them to educate people in Paraguay and the world on human rights and equality.”

President Cartes spoke about same-sex marriage during his campaign, stating that he believed marriage should be between a man a woman.

Cartes joined the Colorado Party back in 2009. The conservative group was in power for 61 years up until 2008. 

Liberal opponent Alegre said that Cartes’ views are reminiscent of a past Paraguay.

The issue also gained attention after fellow South American country, Uruguay, legalized same-sex marriage earlier this month, becoming the second country in the region to do so following Argentina. 

Cartes has since released an apology to the LGBT community, saying “I have no shame in apologizing to those who felt offended for an expression of mine with respect to same-sex marriage.”

429Magazine

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