Sexuality Policy Watch

The postulation of a transexual lesbian feminist woman, activist of human rights, to become a Judge for  the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice Venezuela causes call to mind in Venezuela

Tamara Adrián is lawyer and doctor in law graduated with highest honors in Caracas and Paris, respectively. She has worked for over 25 years as a teacher of undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate in Venezuela, most reputable universities teaching subjects such as law obligations, commercial law, corporate and capital markets. It is author of a number of articles and she is a national and international lecturer on various law topics, including human rights, commercial law, constitutional law and civil law issues.

Thus, the fact that she was postulated as judge of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice Venezuela on 18 October 2010 should not cause any trouble.

The fact is that Dr. Tamara Adrián is also a female transsexual and lesbian, advocate for the rights of women and of the cause of equality of rights of LGTB persons and for the elimination of laws which segregate on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, and she is a well-known activist on sexual diversity causes. And she had already waited for almost six years and a half for the Chamber to which she is proposed, for the recognition of her legal identity, and this nation’s highest court has not even ruled on the admissibility of her action. This silence is one of the most notable cases of denial of Justice and institutional homo-lesbo-transphobia recorded in the country. This is why her legal name does not match her physicist-psycho-social identity.

This is the reason why his candidacy before the National Assembly Committee for the appointment of the Judges of the Highest Venezuelan Court was extensively profiled in the print media, radio and television, since its merits outweigh the vast majority of postulates, but above all because his candidacy generates a challenge for deputes who must decide the appointment of the new judges. Thus, the influential newspaper El Nacional reviewed the nomination on the front page; and Ultimas Noticias mentioned only her name among the postulates.

The National Assembly, almost completely formed by deputes of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela has been reluctant to consider the issue of sexual diversity and systematically blocked all initiatives incorporating provisions intended to give certain rights equal to persons lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transgender and intersex in Venezuela and have take away all the proposed laws and articles proposed by Dr. Adrian during the past years.

Thus, e.g. for second discussion of the organic law of equal gender and gender equity they eliminated all references to sexual orientation and identity that were proposed and approved at the first discussion of the draft. Furthermore, provisions on the right to identity of transgender people and the recognition of rights of couple proposed as part of the project of Organic Civil Registry Act were also removed during the discussions. The National Assembly also approved provisions which deprive transsexuals of the right of health, as the Subsystem Health Act expressly excluded public coverage of “sex change”. The organic law of protection of children and adolescents has been modified to limit the joint adoption partners formed by a man and a woman. The National Assembly also deleted articles concerning education against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender that appeared in the draft organic law of education, among many other samples of the homo-lesbo-transfóbica attitude of the current deputes.

These are the same members and deputies who are now up to decide on the candidacy of Dr. Tamara Adrian.

The candidate has pointed out that its proposal appears as an exercise of civic rights and a challenge to declarations of equality and inclusion often made by deputes of the National Assembly. She states that her candidacy is intended to cause the same excitement that would have caused to propose to appoint a black person in the highest court of the United States or South Africa, during the time of racial segregation. Because in Venezuela, she tells us, “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transgender and instead do not have equal rights as the rest of the population.” “And while the rest of the countries are incorporating equality rules that ensure protection against discrimination, the right to identity of transgender people and equal rights couple in Venezuela not only they have not approved such laws and measures, but have turn back in the level of protection, placing Venezuela upstream of what is happening in other nearby countries,” she adds. And she concludes that his candidacy is intended to become a kind of thermometer to measure the degree of tolerance or intolerance of the National Assembly about sexual diversity.

Certainly not by lack of merits his candidacy could be deprecated, but only for reasons of her sexual diversity. The exact kind of discrimination that seems characterized the past performance of this same National Assembly before which she was postulated.

Can such deputes overcome their prejudices? We will soon know the answer.

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