“José Merentes is well known for
his action for human rights in general, and for lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT)
people in particular”, commented Louis-Georges Tin of IDAHO. “His
contribution is appreciated not only in his country, but also abroad, and
this is why, being the leader of the International Day Against Homophobia, I
am very glad to work with him.
Merentes is the national
correspondent of IDAHO for Venezuela.
“In the name of all the other
national correspondents for IDAHO, I can say that we are all very happy and
proud of our friend, and we also want to congratulate the Partido Federal
Republicano for choosing somebody whose action, should he be elected,
would definitely improve the condition of LGBT people and reinforce the
sense of democracy in Venezuela, Tin said.
In 1999, José Merentes, who is
General Coordinator for the gay-rights group Affirmative Union, entered a
gay marriage request to the National Assembly’s Constitutional Assembly when
the country’s current constitution was written and voted on by the
This caused a sensation. Not only
was Merentes’ proposal firmly rejected, but the constitution ended up with a
statement in Article 77 that marriage is restricted to being between a man
and a woman.
In an open letter published on the
Spanish-language Cantv.net website (http://foros.cantv.net/forum/forum_
posts.asp?TID=46518&PN=1&get=last), Merentes said
that the Partido Federal Republicano had taken a brave stance with
inclusion in its manifesto of equality rights for gays.
“ I have been invited to coordinate
the party’s human rights policy which will give me the opportunity to
[include] sexual diversity and non-discrimination,” he wrote.
“This recognition shows that the
party is aware of human rights and is prepared to defend them.”
Partido Federal Republicano website (in
International Day Against Homophobia