LGBT associations announce support for HDP candidate Demirtaş
People kiss during a gay parade on Istiklal Street during the gay parade on June 22. AFP Photo / Bülent KılıçSeveral associations representing the LGBT community have announced support for Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş in the upcoming presidential elections Aug. 10, emphasizing he was the only candidate to express his commitment to gay rights.
The 12 associations, including Kaos GL, Pembe Hayat, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association (SPOD) and Hêvî LGBTİ Initiative, stressed Demirtaş had acknowledged the LGBT’s place in society without “ifs and buts.”
“We are making public that we support the candidate of the people and change in the presidential elections, Selahattin Demirtaş, who has made a call for a new life based on freedom, equality, fraternity and peace and who has defended human rights without making exceptions,” the statement issued Aug. 7 read.
The groups have slammed that dominant political parties have ignored the rights of LGBT individuals.
“Being referred to as the ‘other,’ LGBTI’s are pushed away from society due to their sexual identities, discriminated in education, health, work life, media and social benefits. Not only limited to this, they are subjected to every kind of oppression and violence, while their basic right to live is limited by hate speech and hate crimes,” the statement read.
Sexually free society
The associations have also said they felt they identified with Demirtaş’s statement that his call for a “new life” was also a call for a “sexually free society.”
“The LGBT movement, which has adopted the motto that the salvation of homosexuals will also free heterosexuals, is also making efforts to develop comradery with all of the oppressed,” the statement said.
Demirtaş, a young Kurdish politician, has repeatedly stated during his campaign his willingness to represent all the marginalized of the society, whether based on their ethnicity, religion, gender, socioeconomic class or sexual orientation.