Former Ecuadorean Presidential Candidate Nelson Zavala Receives Fine, Political Rights Suspension for Anti-Gay Remarks

Former Ecuadorean presidential candidate and evangelical pastor Nelson Zavala had his political rights suspended for a year and was fined more than $3,000 by an electoral court for making anti-gay remarks during his campaign, the BBC reports:

ZavalaAn electoral court sentenced him for saying gays were "immoral" and suffered from "severe deviation of conduct" during the February election campaign. Lawyers for Mr Zavala, an evangelical preacher who says he can "cure" gay people, said he would appeal.

The candidate came last out of eight candidates with 1.23% of the votes. President Rafael Correa was re-elected for a third term with nearly 60% of the vote.

The ruling bars Mr Zavala from standing as a candidate, affiliating himself or being involved with a political party or movement.

The BBC add:

Gays and lesbian activists applauded the decision, which was called a "milestone".

Mr Zavala's comments in February were denounced to the electoral authorities by a number of groups.

Judge Patricia Baca Mancheno found Mr Zavala violated the electoral code, which "forbids candidates of publicly expressing any thoughts that discriminate or affect other people's dignity or utilise symbols, expressions or allusions of a religious nature."


  1. Thomas says

    I’m sure this would result in a much more pleasant political atmosphere and help weed out the most extreme rhetoric. In that sense, I applaud a law like this.

    But I can’t help but think it goes too far. Way too far. Many political positions are inherently tied to morality and, by extension for many people, to religion. If your ideas suck and people don’t like your rhetoric, isn’t it enough to lose in the marketplace of ideas? The guy only got 1.23% of the vote. His ideas lost. But what if he had been the winner? The line between valid political speech and “hate speech” seems pretty fuzzy under this law.

  2. M_Lancaster says

    Then don’t move to Ecuador.

    This feels very rational and enlightened.

    Imagine Santorum with the same restrictions, it might have given him more time to address real issues and further demonstrate how little he knew.

  3. SayTheTruth says

    Good, a turn in the right direction.
    Tolerating intolerants is a way to degrade democracy; in countries where authoritarianism is historically very recent, hatred speech should not be taken lightly.
    You can say the same without pleading for the nullification of eradication of a minority group.

  4. Pete N SFO says

    I kinda like the idea… especially when running for office. That is different than shooting your mouth off on the couch. There ought to be a higher level of accountability w/ a national platform. I would welcome it.

  5. JJ says

    Religion has had a long run. Many eons–cruel and bloody ones–to show that it’s the source of morality. What it has shown, through torture, slavery, genocide, and countless other crimes against humanity, is that nothing could be further from the truth. Morality is not a fruit of religion, it’s a casualty, and humanity becomes moral in spite of religion, not because of it. The further above religion humanity rises, the more moral it becomes.

    Nothing unjust can come of this law, because no morally just ambition needs religion to make its case. Indeed religion _cannot_ underpin any moral position, because, even after many thousands of years, it still has no evidence and no facts to prove its claim that morality comes from devine revelation.

Leave A Reply