Violence, Spin, and Abuse of Power at OAS Meeting

By Marianna Orlandi, Ph.D. | June 16, 2016

SANTO DOMINGO, June 17 (C-Fam) For years the head of the OAS bureaucracy has tried to impose abortion and homosexuality throughout the Americas while the people have tried to protect their families and religious liberty. This week at annual meeting in Santo Domingo, the fight literally came to blows.

By the end of the meeting of the 46th General Assembly (GA) of the Organization of the American States (OAS), under the slogan, “More rights for more people,” some countries were calling for the resignation of the secretary general, Luis Almagro.

On the very first day, LGBT activists staged an assault on pro-family delegates and civil society. Dominican Jean Marco Pumarol stopped a transgender person who was entering the women’s restroom at the event. The brawny transsexual and his “compañeros” pushed the boy against a wall chanting “transphopia”. Gregory Mertz, Director of the U.S. branch of CitizenGo, stepped in to protect the youth and was punched by another transgender person.

The Dominican media called it a “homophobic incident.”

On the same Sunday, Dominicans organized a prayerful march for life, led by the city’s bishop Victor Masalles. In response, U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, James “Wally” Brewster, called the marchers “haters” and “homophobes” via Facebook posts. The long-time LGBT activist implied there was a link between the peaceful march and the ISIS-inspired terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida earlier that morning that killed 49 people in a gay nightclub. Even though the march had been planned for some months, he complained that it took place “a few hours after the tragedy [of the terrorist attack]” and said the pro-life march was aimed “against LGBT citizens”.

The following day, Jean Marco delivered a statement on behalf of hundreds of civil society members to the heads of OAS delegations in the general assembly. He said the only family deserving legal recognition is the one formed by a man and a woman and that that life must be protected “from conception to natural death”. In its coverage, the press labeled the civil society group “activists against same sex marriage and abortion”.

The next day, the OAS bureaucracy sent civil society participants an e-mail announcing that they were no longer allowed to attend the meetings of the General Assembly “due to space limitations”.

Members of civil society told the Friday Fax that the OAS bureaucracy is known for its opposition to the life and family agenda. Many of them paid their own airfare and hotel fees and said they would not have come had they known that they would have to watch the proceedings on a TV screen.

Barred from the event, civil society groups scattered around the city, organizing pacific protests, holding press conferences, and speaking on local, national and international radios.

Meanwhile, delegates debated a resolution that in effect would accuse countries that do not recognize homosexual marriages or that prohibit “abortion on demand” as torturing women and LGBT persons.

While OAS resolutions are not binding on states, they inform the policies of OAS bodies and agencies, and are invoked by the progressive Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Another resolution used the Zika virus epidemic to promote abortion through “sexual and reproductive health”. Other paragraphs condemned laws and policies aimed at restricting homosexual activity, threatening to punish discrimination based on “sexual orientation and gender identity”.

The resolutions were adopted, but not without statements of reservation by Paraguay, Nicaragua, Honduras, Jamaica, Guatemala, and many other member states.