While the issue of gay marriage continues to rage in the United States, and as fallout continues in the Miss California broo-ha-ha, a news story out of Peru could spark international outcries: Peru is barring gays from being in the police:
Peru has announced that it will ban homosexuals from the police force for damaging the image of the institution.
The law is one of several new regulations put forward by the Interior Minister, Mercedes Cabanillas.
Ms Cabanillas is trying to shake up the institution, which has a dismal reputation among the general public.
But critics say some of the new laws, especially those regarding sexual orientation or activity, are unconstitutional.
The BBC story notes that under the law any police officer who has sexal relations with someone of the same gender will be indefinitely suspended from the police force. MORE:
The same applies to officers who have extra-marital relations – their actions are also deemed to cause scandal and denigrate the institution’s image.
They are among a raft of new regulations, which also include provision for sacking police officers who accept bribes, organise or take part in strikes and protest marches.
Ms Cabanillas’ strong-arm tactics have earned her some public backing and the nickname “Thatcher” in the Peruvian media, after the former Conservative British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.
UK’s Pink News adds this background:
Along with permanent suspension of any officer found to have sexual relations with someone of the same gender, adulterers will also be barred from the force.
The measures will also censure those who “organise, promote, participate or incite strikes, stoppages or marches.”
Critics have attacked the proposals for being unconstitutional.
Last May, human rights groups expressed concern after the alleged rape of a gay man by the Peruvian police.
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission asked its supporters to write to the authorities in Peru about the handling of the alleged case.
Luis Alberto Rojas Marín, 26, claimed he was repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted by three police officers in February 2008.
Supporters of the police launched a campaign of protests, abusing the alleged victim’s sexuality and blaming him for the rape.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.