Letter from Bolivia
I'm not normally in the practice of making announcements regarding commitment ceremonies but when folks in other countries (less socially open countries in particular) are bucking bigotry for the sake of their happiness, it's worth taking notice.
So when I received this letter in my mailbox from a couple named Dave and Frede in Bolivia, I thought it was worth sharing. They'll be holding a commitment ceremony this weekend. Dave is a Bolivian-American who met his partner while visiting there.
He writes: "We are extremely excited to be celebrating our commitment ceremony here in Bolivia with our friends and family. Although it is a bit out of the norm for here, we went ahead with our plans just like any other couple would, and have been pleasantly surprised with the response we have received from the community. The event itself is planned as a very intimate reception and spiritual ceremony held at one of our family member's homes. The goal is basically to celebrate our commitment to one another in front of our closest friends and family. We realize that our ceremony is just that and nothing more, but for us, we are treating it the same as any other groom and groom would do. In the near future we would like to realize our dream of legalizing our commitment in a more accepting country."
Same-sex activity is legal in Bolivia, though not widely accepted. As recently as 1996, Bolivia's gay rights group MGLP Libertad released a statement published by the IGLA discussing that country's attitudes toward gay people: "Homosexuality is never discussed in Bolivia and this is typical in the macho ethos that prevails here, as in many Latin American societies. In Bolivia, homosexuals are viewed, not to say pigeon-holed, as undesirables that are outside society’s normal moral code."
We wish Dave and Frede the best. Hopefully theirs will be an example other Bolivians can follow. Baby steps.