Colombians Hold Kiss-a-Thon in Support of Gay Couple

Santiago Maldonado and Jorge Esteban Farías, who were attacked in a park, took part in the kiss-a-thon
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By Vanessa Buschschlüter
BBC News

Hundreds of people took to a park in Colombia on Sunday to show their support for a gay couple who were set upon after kissing in public.

Same-sex couples staged a kiss-a-thon in the park in Bogotá where the pair had been confronted by a group of women, one of whom was wielding a broomstick.

Bogotá’s mayor condemned the incident.

Colombia legalised same-sex marriage in 2016 but homophobic attacks are not uncommon.

Holding signs reading “Kisses are signs of affection, not a crime”, people gathered in the park in the Engativá neighbourhood of the capital.

Waving rainbow flags, couples kissed and celebrated as music played.

The protest was organised on social media after a video had been widely shared of two young gay men being forced from a park by angry locals on Friday.

In the video, women can be heard shouting at the couple, telling them that “in this neighbourhood we don’t allow sex in the park, especially not in front of children”.

The young men ask “what sex?” and say that they had only kissed.

The two sides trade insults and one of the women can be heard saying: “If you don’t leave, we’ll lynch you”.

The couple reported the incident and the official in charge of sexual diversity in Bogotá, David Alonzo, said it was being investigated.

Claudia López, who is Bogotá’s first gay mayor, wrote on Twitter that she would “fight until equality is the norm”.

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