El Salvador gay group threatened

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Members of the Between Friends Association (Asociación Entre Amigos) have dealt with a succession of threats to their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organisation in recent months.

Over the past year they have been lobbying the El Salvadorian government not to sign an amendment to the national constitution that would make it illegal for lesbian and gay couples to marry and adopt children in the Central American country.

The BFA work in El Salvador both aiming to educate the population about gay issues and highlight problems of homophobic abuse in the country.

According to Amnesty International the organisation had its offices raided in both May and June of this year, and previous to this had their windows smashed.

The BFA reports that only files, and not equipment, were missing after the raids.

The group reported that their office had been broken into seven times in 5 years.

In response the group moved office, but still fear themselves under observation.

In one case the director of the group, William Hernández, was threatened at gun point outside the BFA’s old office.

The masked assailant was reported to say: “Stop f***ing in the Assembly. Stop doing stupid things in the street because I know you are organising some s*** for this month. I already looked inside but didn’t find anything. Here I’ll find what I’m looking for. Stop f***ing or I’ll kill you before you get married.”

The unidentified man grabbed Hernández’s briefcase and ran off.

The group is opposing the proposed constitutional change, fighting the opposition Christian Democratic Party, (Partido Democrata Cristiano, PDC) and the Catholic Church in El Salvador who are in favour of the change.

The change is still to be voted on in parliament, which was elected in May this year.