Paraguay’s government has banned school materials that are LGBT+ inclusive or promote ‘gender ideology’, NBC reports.
Education Minister Enrique Riera told ABC Color that a “traditional family” was made up of a mother, father, and children, and refuted that idea that gender is a social construct.
“We naturally respect different options, but we're not going to instil them in our public schools," Riera said, adding that contraband books would be burned.
Amnesty International has commented that the ban is a “major step backwards for human rights and is contrary to Paraguay’s international obligations.”
“Under cover of the malicious expression ‘gender ideology’, what is really happening here is the suppression of education about equality and discrimination, which is an international obligation of the Paraguayan state, not an ideology”, said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.
Asuncion based LGBT+ organisation SOMOSGAY has also condemned the government’s new ban.
“The debate on 'gender ideology' has been re-established in the midst of a merciless battle,” the group posted on Facebook, adding that misinformation was being spread on social media.
“Today, the technological tools of the century are used: social networks as a platform to incinerate the one who thinks differently.
“While living in the information society, there is a visceral refusal to discuss the subject at least to clarify concepts and above all rights. Because there's a perverse manipulation of ideas.
“Intolerance, which discriminates, which promotes hatred, which rejects the slightest difference, does not want to talk or reason, and remains the greatest obstacle to avoid changes.”
While same-sex sexual activity is legal in Paraguay, there are no anti-discrimination protections for the LGBT+ community and there is a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and the recognition of same-sex couples.