Latino Commission on AIDS Urges End To Hate Crimes And Discrimination In Puerto Rico
The Latino Commission on AIDS and Elected Officials from New York and Illinois urge an End to Hate Crimes and LGBT Discrimination in Puerto Rico
New York City, Monday, – The Latino Commission on AIDS joins elected officials from New York and Illinois in Puerto Rico in order to stand in solidarity with the Puerto Rican people in urging an end to prejudice, homophobia, discrimination and hate crimes and to advocate for LGBT equality.
During the trip, the delegation will also meet with the family of Jorge Steven López Mercado, the 19-year-old gay teen who was brutally murdered on November 13, 2009.
Guillermo Chacon, President of the Latino Commission and the delegation will meet with elected officials, LGBT activists, as well as with political, religious and civic leaders.
“We are in San Juan to urge the Puerto Rican government to end the prejudice, discrimination and inequities that are so blatantly imposed on the LGBT community,” stated Chacon. “We are here to call on legislators and more specifically Governor Fortuño to ensure that homophobic expressions are no longer used by elected officials and that no one turns a blind eye toward the violence that threatens the well being of the LGBT community. We stand in solidarity with the LGBT communities inPuerto Rico and support the Lopez Mercado family to send a clear message that hatred and violence is never the answer.”
Since Matthew Shepard’s murder in 1998, there have been over 16,000 LGBT related hate crimes reported, an average of about 1,450 LGBT hate crimes per year. In 2008, there were 29 LGBT hate crime murders reported in the United States.
New York: NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, NYC Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito, NYC Councilmember Rosie Mendez, NYC Councilmember Danny Dromm, NYC Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer.
Illinois: State Senator Iris Y. Martínez, State Representative María “Toni” Berrios, State Representative Rubén D. Feliciano.
About the Latino Commission on AIDS: The Latino Commission on AIDS is a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1990 dedicated to fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS in Latino/Hispanic communities. The Commission is the leading national Latino AIDS organization and works across the Unites and its territories.
For more information visit www.latinoaids.org