Things That Matter

Huge News Out Of Ecuador As The Country Becomes The Latest In Latin America To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

In a landmark ruling for the traditionally conservative country, Ecuador’s highest court on Wednesday voted to legalize same-sex marriage. Judges on the court ruled five-to-four to overhaul the country’s laws. The basis of the argument was Ecuador’s current marriage legislation was discriminatory and unconstitutional towards same-sex couples that should be allowed equal rights. The judges who dissented the vote argued that the court should not rule on changes to the Ecuadorian constitution, instead that should be the governments decision.

Ecuador now joins a group of Latin American nations including, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia and Uruguay, that have legalized same-sex marriage in some form.  

Credit:@raymondbraun/Twitter

The historic decision comes during the middle of LGBT Pride month and makes Ecuador one of only a handful of Latin American nations to legally approve of same-sex marriage.

Ecuador’s National Assembly, which is the country’s legislative branch, still has to officially change the laws that define the institution of marriage. After this is done, same-sex couples will be able to marry as soon as the constitutional court informs local government offices of their decision. The court will have 10 days to do this.

This landmark ruling was brought to the constitutional court by two same-sex couples who had petitioned for the right to marry.

Hundreds of LGBTQ supporters celebrated the decision outside the courthouse where the ruling was announced. Pamela Troya and Gaby Correa were one of those celebrating as they petitioned for the right to marry after being denied a license to marry back in 2013.

Troya told CNN she was “overwhelmed with emotion,” after the six-year battle to marry her partner. “The judges decided to be on the right side of history,” Troya said.

The ruling in Ecuador follows recent legislative and constitutional gains for the LGBTQ community.

In 2008, Ecuador voted in favor of constitutional protection that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. In 2013, the controversial conversion therapy practice was banned in rehabilitation institutions. In 2015, adjustments to the labor regulations made it illegal for employers to discriminate against workers on sexual orientation and preference.

While same-sex civil unions have been legal in Ecuador for some years, those couples did not receive the same legal rights and benefits that married couples do. Despite these gains, there are still prevalent homophobic views that continue in various parts of the country.

Many are celebrating the ruling as the decision is a sign of changing perspectives and attitudes towards the LGBTQ community.

Credit:@thomassanders/Twitter

Ecuador is a mostly conservative country with a traditionally Catholic population that up until the last decade, never acknowledged same-sex rights. The legalization of same-sex marriage in the country is a move that is being celebrated and supported around the world.

On Twitter, users expressed their happiness for the countless of same-sex couples that will now get the right to marry. “Same sex marriage is finally a reality in Ecuador!!????️‍???????????? I cannot put in words how happy I am to say I lived to see that happen. Thanks for all the love and support. Love is love and love will always win” one person wrote.

“We’re witnessing an important moment in history,” Matthias Wasik,
programs director for All Out, an International LGBT rights group, told SBS News. “As these victories will send out positive shockwaves across the world and inspire more activists to continue their fight for LGBT+ rights.”

READ: Brazil’s Supreme Court Votes To Make Homophobia And Transphobia Crimes Despite The Bolsonaro Administration Being Vehemently Anti-LGBTQ+

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Pedro Pascal Supports His Sister, Lux, As She Publicly Comes Out As Trans: ‘Mi Hermana, Mi Corazón’

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Pedro Pascal Supports His Sister, Lux, As She Publicly Comes Out As Trans: ‘Mi Hermana, Mi Corazón’

Credit: Getty Images; pascalispunk/Instagram

We always knew there was a reason that Pedro Pascal was one of the internet’s favorite boyfriends. He has always radiated an energy of warmth and kindness–turns out he also walks the walk.

On Tuesday, Pedro Pascal took to Instagram to support his sister, Lux Pascal, who recently came out as a trans woman.

On his Instagram page, Pascal shared a picture of his sister on the cover of Spanish-language Chilean magazine, Ya. The caption read: “Mi hermana, mi corazón, nuestra Lux.”

In an interview with Ya magazine, Lux Pascal opened up about how supportive Pedro has been of her transition.

Lux explained that Pedro “has been an important part of [my transition].” Lux, who is currently studying acting at Juilliard, says that Pedro was able to be a “guide” to her because of his artistic spirit.

“He’s also an artist and has served as a guide for me,” she said. “He was one of the first people to gift me the tools that started shaping my identity.”

But her brother wasn’t the only one that was very accepting of her decision to transition. Lux explained that her transition has been “been something that’s very natural for everyone” in her family.

And like many folks who are gender non-conforming, her family seemed to have known ahead of time. “It’s almost something that they expected to happen,” she said.

Lux revealed to Ya that, for a number of years, she identified as non-binary. But she eventually realized that she actually identifies as a woman.

“Moving through the world as a woman is much more simple for me, but I still advocate for nonbinary identities to have a space in society,” she explained. While she says that existing as a woman was the right decision for her, she still “advocates for nonbinary identities to have a space in society.”

Lux is also passionate about LGBTQ activism, saying that the world needs trans activists who are good, smart, informed, and who can be strong voices against transphobia, homophobia and racism.”

When asked if she feels discomfort at seeing images of herself before her transition, Lux said, “I don’t feel anxiety when I see old photos of mine. The same happens to me with theater: I see someone who was doing what they liked.”

As for her new name (she was previously known by the name “Lucas”), Lux said she didn’t want to lose the meaning of her old name, which meant “he who brings the light.”

She looked to one of her favorite movies for inspiration. “One of the characters in Sofia Coppola’s ‘Virgin Suicides’ was named ‘Lux’ which is light in Latin,” she said. “I was pleased with my childhood memory and that my previous name had signified something I was looking for myself.”

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The Black and Afro-Latina Queens of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Discuss #BlackLivesMatter

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The Black and Afro-Latina Queens of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Discuss #BlackLivesMatter

The drag queens on the latest season of RuPaul’s Drag Race discussed the #BlackLivesMatter movement in the previous episode and it was real. They talked about the ways they were active during the protests last summer and what it means to be a queer person of color in the U.S. today.

Kandy Muse gave the conversation an Afro-Latina perspective.

While the queens were putting on their makeup in the workroom, LaLa Ri from Atlanta, brought up the topic of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. New York’s “Dominican Doll” Kandy Muse was the first to speak on her involvement in the protests.

“Being an Afro-Latino from the south Bronx, when I see Black people being murdered by police, it just puts so many things into perspective,” Muse said. “Fighting for Black lives and all those things are very, very important to me.”

Symone reminded the other queens of George Floyd’s murder by the police.  

Symone, who hails from LA, reminded her season 13 sisters that the murder of George Floyd last May by the police is what sparked the protests throughout the country.

“It’s sad that he to- that that had to happen, but I’m happy that people are waking the f*ck up because it’s always been there,” Symone said.

As a Black queen, Symone spoke to the trauma that Black people were facing with video of George Floyd’s murder being replayed in the media.

“Even with [the] corona[virus] going on, I felt immediately compelled to be involved in protests here in Los Angeles because enough is enough,” Symone recalled. “Things need to change.”

Lala Ri put some light on Rayshard Brooks‘ murder by the police.

During the discussion, LaLa Ri brought up that the murder of Rayshard Brooks at a Wendys in Georgia happened very close to their home.

“It kind of just really hit me that I could easily be in that drive-thru, and there’s a situation where they can pull me over just because I look like I don’t belong in that type of car,” LaLa Ri said.

As LaLa Ri relived that realization, she got emotional talking about it on the show.

“You could just be a Black person in the world and you could just get killed for nothing,” the queen said in tears. “It’s scary that you could just be killed just because of the color of your skin.”

Olivia Lux, an Afro-Puerto Rican queen from New Jersey, also mentioned how Black trans women are being murdered at a high rate.

“Statically Black trans lives at the most at risk,” Olivia Lux said.

Tamisha Iman wrapped things up with the words of John Lewis.

Tamisha Iman, a Black queen from Georgia, evoked the words of late Georgia Congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis to wrap up the conversation.

“Get in some good trouble!” the Georgia queen said in an empowering moment.

The clip was uploaded to RuPaul’s Drag Race YouTube channel on Feb. 1 in honor of Black History Month. Be watch the full video to see more of this necessary conversation.

READ: Denali is Serving Mexicana Representation on ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

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