|Historical Pride Speech by PM Curaçao|
by Redaktie in History & Politics , 23 November 2017
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Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath of Curaçao, and independent country within the Dutch commonwealth, held a speech at the opening of Curaçao Pride, calling for more LGBTI acceptance in an inclusive society in which everyone can develop and be themselves. The LGBTI movement on Curaçao already considers his speech as 'historic'.
In his speech, Rhuggenaath referred to his electoral campaign promise to be a Prime Minister for everyone on the Caribbean island. “And everyone means all citizens, regardless of their colour, background, income, religious beliefs and yes ... including sexual orientation.”
Rhuggenaath described Curaçao as a diverse society, ‘welcoming people of all backgrounds with open arms, a society that follows its own emancipatory path’. The Prime Minister also referred to 'new heroes,' such as Mario Kleinmoedig and Alton Paas - members of the LGBTI movement on Curaçao. Pride events should be seen as ‘part of humanity's journey of emancipation’.
The Prime Minister called on Curaçao to ‘celebrate the journey along with progress’. In his view, this will bring about ‘a society in which the beauty of diversity dominates" and ‘where people from all backgrounds are welcomed with open arms and can live side by side in peace ... free to profess their beliefs, free to express their opinion, but also free to love, simply to be free’.
Mario Kleinmoedig of LGBTI organization FOKO calls Prime Minister Rhuggenaath's speech 'Historic for Curaçao and historic for the entire Caribbean'. "Never before has a Caribbean government leader so passionately expressed his support for the emancipation of LGBTIs."
Last year, Rhuggenaath also officially opened Curaçao Pride in his capacity as Minister of Economic Development. In his speech, he indicated that he attaches great importance to Curaçao's LGBTI community.
Member of Parliament Marilyn Moses of the opposition party Movementu Progresivo has a completely different view on the matter. She made the local news with her remark that LGBTIs should not be flaunting their sexual orientation or gender identity during Curaçao Pride. According to Moses, these things should ‘not be expressed in public’.
Marie Ricardo, finds it extremely unfortunate that Mrs Moses expressed herself in such belittling terms about the LGBTI movement on the island. According to Ricardo, “The human rights of LGBTIs are universal and recognized as such by the United Nations. They can therefore never be labelled as 'irrelevant' or 'inappropriate' by appealing to cultural or moral values held by the general public. As a politician, Mrs Moses is a role model and should know better.”
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