I am still looking into this idea of the Roman Catholic Church vs. Protestant Groups’ roles in the anti-gay movement. I found this article concerning gay life in modern Guatemala. It shows how much violence there is against gays even today. Oasis, a center for gay individuals constantly requires an armed policeman for defense. Compounded onto this is the fact that 80% of Guatemala lives in poverty. It is difficult for gays in this group to bring about change (this goes back to Ivanna’s comment in class about how the gay rights movement is started from the up down.)
I want to know why, while Guatemala has a 50-60% Catholic population (half of whom are not even real Catholics, but rather indigenous Catholics) and a 40% Protestant, it has such a history of violence against gays. In more progressive countries, especially Argentina and Colombia, the proportion of Catholics is nearly 75%.
This article does briefly link anti-gay discrimination to the Roman Catholic Church and a history of machismo.
- The Catholic church was prevalent in Guatemala until the 1990s. Perhaps it was a homophobia generated at this time that lingers until the present.
- There are differences in faith between countries like Guatemala and Colombia.
- Guatemala’s history of conservatism in the Catholic Church is the cause of both its anti-gay violence and citizens resorting to Protestantism.
To be continued…
Statistics from Wikipedia.