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Guatemala Moves to Ban Same-Sex Marriage, Increase Abortion Penalties

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Associated Press reports.Guatemala did not allow same-sex marriage anyway, but supporters of the bill said it needed to be passed because “minority groups in society propose ways of thinking and practices that are incongruous with Christian morality,” the AP notes.And similar to the “don’t say gay” bills seen in Florida and other U.S.

states, it would bar schools from teaching about subjects that could “deviate [a child’s] identity according to their birth gender,” as the legislation puts it.

They also cannot teach that same-sex relations are normal.Abortion was already illegal in Guatemala for any reason except to save the life of the mother, with a penalty of up to three years in prison for violation, but this bill will increase the maximum sentence to 10 years, according to the AP and The New York Times. (A Reuters report gives a figure of 25 years, but that appears to be inaccurate.) It also provides for a sentence of up to 12 years for abortion providers.Civil rights groups decried the legislation. “This is the most regressive and wholesale attack on the rights of women and LGBT people that has been passed by a national legislature in Latin America in at least the last 10 years,” Cristian González Cabrera, a Human Rights Watch researcher, told the Times. “Even more women will be forced to put their health and lives at risk.”Some other Central American countries, including as Honduras and El Savador, have some protections for LGBTQ+ people, such as hate-crimes laws, but “Guatemala has none,” he noted.

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