- Please take action as-soon-as possible. This Urgent Action expires on May 6, 2022.
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Ambassador Alfonso Quiñónez Lemus
Embassy of Guatemala
2220 R St. NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 745 4953 I Fax: 202 745 1908
Email: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
Dear President of Congress,
I am writing to express my concern regarding Bill 5272, passed on March 8, 2022, by the Guatemalan Congress (Decree 18-2022).
Contrary to international human rights standards that oblige Guatemala not to discriminate against any person, Decree 18-2022 discriminates against LGBTIQ people by expressly prohibiting same-sex marriage, as well as teaching about sexual diversity in public schools. In a pre-existing context of persistent violence against LGBTIQ people, this law reinforces stigmatization and discrimination against them and normalizes it, putting the lives of thousands of people at risk. In addition, it would violate the right of children and adolescents to comprehensive sexuality education.
Furthermore, by modifying the penal code to criminalize miscarriages and increase penalties and sanctions for women and medical personnel with respect to abortions, the law would put the lives of women and girls at risk; and would have serious implications for public health in the country, already so affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Guatemalan Congress must refrain from promoting laws that foment hate speech, prejudice, discrimination, and violence. It must embrace its obligation to guarantee the right of all people not to be discriminated against, including on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and it must guarantee the right of all people to sexual and reproductive health, as well as autonomy in their decisions about their own bodies.
Therefore, I urge you to shelve Decree 18-2022 and refrain from pursuing the approval of any other decree that violates the rights of women, girls or LGBTIQ+ persons.