When Ramblas wanted to be Stonewall

When Ramblas wanted to be Stonewall


From the Franco persecution of gay marriage, the history of homosexuality in Spain reflects the struggle for LGBT equality. We review the developments in this June 28, Pride Day.

In 1969, the police entered the Stonewall Inn in order to make a raid. It was not the first time, although that June 28 would be different. Gay pub located in Greenwich Village, police operations were frequent. On June 28 Pride Day is celebrated to remember the riots of Stonewall

At 1:20 o’clock in the morning, the officers entered the bar shouting that it was “closed”. Usually, young people came out and identified. Those men who were dressed as women, or the few lesbians who frequented the bar they were dressed in “no female form,” were arrested. But that night everything changed. Someone shouted “we will not”. Three words that popped the environment . Three words that lit the fuse of the Stonewall riots.

“The homosexuality is actually a mental disorder which it has reached epidemic proportions. ” Phrases like this were repeated by psychiatrists and psychologists of the time, as related in the documentary La Stonewall rebellion. The riots in the city of New York marked a turning point in the American LGBT movement. Nothing was ever the same since that June 28 date that is celebrated annually on Pride Day .

The Spanish repression

Across the Atlantic, the situation for thousands of homosexuals was even worse. Federico Garcia Loca had been shot in the early hours of August 18, 1936, two months after the military uprising against the Second Republic. After the end of the Civil War, the Franco dictatorship suppressed any hint of freedom. The Act contemplated threat sentences of up to five years imprisonment in prisons and asylums

However, as noted Monferrer Tomas , “homosexuals did not represent a problem priority for the postwar Franco “. At first, controlling behaviors considered “immoral” was delegated to the Catholic Church. However, the decades of the fifties and sixties were characterized by a minimum opening to the outside, as a result of increased tourism. In this situation, the dictatorship decided to take action on the matter, considering homosexuals as “a threat to public order”.

Vagrancy Act , driven by consensus during the Second Republic to “control beggars, hoodlums and pimps no known occupation” was amended on 15 July 1954. The aim was simply to prosecute and punish any homosexual practice.

Sixteen years later, the government of Carrero Blanco replaced by the text Danger and Rehabilitation Act Social . The new regulation contemplated similar measures, but also included “penalties of up to five years in prisons or asylums for homosexuals and other people considered dangerous to be rehabilitated.”

homosexuality Spain

Plate in the former provincial prison of Huelva, in memory of the homosexuals imprisoned during the Franco dictatorship. Source: Calapito (Wikimedia)

Just one year after the Stonewall riots, the text was approved and greeted enthusiastically by much of the judiciary. Málaga prosecutor commented on the report of the Supreme Court 1971 “sodomite increased nefarious vice, fostered in the Costa del Sol by foreign elements who congregate there.” Similar to those uttered by the prosecutor of Las Palmas, when he referred to “alarming increase in homosexual practices that mainly contributes a special and degenerate kind of foreign tourists.” Words There could benefit from pardons , amnesty or parole if not demonstrated “have healed”

Through this instrument, as Monferrer Thomas holds, “the Inverse sexual were listed in genuine birth (or birth) or occasional (vicious) “. Between 1974 and 1975, 6% of available reports in the threat Courts of Madrid is related to gay people, mostly boys.

The “dangerous” were called considered by the law as “sick people should not forgive, but cure,” according to researcher UNED. This made homosexuals not only were persecuted and repressed, but also were imprisoned as “a method of preventing contagion.” As a result, homosexuals were not only subjected to social isolation in asylums and prisons but convicted could not be reintegrated into society until it had not evaluated its “healing”. In other words, the people affected were not eligible for pardons, amnesties, redemption penalties or parole as other prisoners.

The demonstration of the Ramblas

The persecution of homosexuality Spain, as happened the night of the raid of Stonewall, aa reached an extreme situation. But in our case, the protests were not violent, but silent and under pseudonyms, brave as Francesc Francino (Mir Bellgai) or Armand de Fluvià (Roger Gaimon) They began organizing the first movement LGBT. More than 4,000 people gathered in Barcelona to demand the repeal of the Law of Danger

In the seventies of Fluvià and Francino they were aware of the Stonewall riots or uprisings in Paris in 1968 thanks to the influence of publications such as the journal Arcadie . Together they founded the Spanish Movement of Homosexual Liberation , a group composed mostly of men, who in 1972 began to publish a monthly newsletter Aghois . It was a time of secrecy and fear, which did not prevent them from working for the rights of LGBT people.

After the death of Franco, the activists created the Front d’Alliberament Gai de Catalunya , the movement that led to the founding of the Institut Lambda, the first cultural and service center for homosexuals in Spain. He then known as Casal Lambda at Barcelona, ​​it was the germ of the first big demonstration for the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals. It was June 26, 1977, under the slogan “Nosaltres not tenim by, nosaltres som” (“We are not afraid, we are”), 4,000 people gathered in the Ramblas to request amnesty for sexual offenses and repeal Law of Danger and Social Rehabilitation.

The news gathered by La Vanguardia two days later -the Mondays except the newspaper is edited, explained that “the protesters had not interrupted at any time since the rally circulated by the middle of Las Ramblas”. At the height of gutters, however, police dispersed the 4,000 people with firing rubber bullets. As a result, three protesters were seriously injured, and a fourth, Oriol Martí , was detained at the Modelo prison in Barcelona. The demonstration of the Ramblas was harshly repressed by Police

After the historical manifestation, 36 political, trade union and civil society organizations (including the CNT and PSUC was) signed a demanding the release of Martí document. The detainee, a doctor, PNN of the Autonomous University of Barcelona and member of Red Flag, “was handcuffed behind his back, propinándole blows to the testicles knees” as denouncing El Country in early July. After 52 days in detention, Oriol Martí would be released.

Maybe and as stated in the blog L’Armari Obert , the manifestation of Las Ramblas, convened by the then illegal Front d’Alliberament Gai de Catalunya, marked a turning point in the defense of the rights of homosexual persons . At that concentration, they could read and hear slogans like “My body is mine and do with it what I please,” “sexual Amnesty!” or “We are not dangerous!”

What happens when an unstoppable force hits an immovable object?

The government of Suarez retired in 1978 Homosexuality Act threat In the film Imagine Me & You , one of the stars wondering what would happen if an unstoppable force hits an immovable object. Something happened in Spain. The manifestation of the Ramblas was the beginning of something bigger: the expansion of the LGBT community for the rest of the country. The work of the Front d’Alliberament Gai de Catalunya soon spread to regions such as Valencia, the Balearic Islands, Madrid, Malaga and Bilbao. So it was like the first concentration was repeated successfully in 1978 in the cities of Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Bilbao and Seville.

The Pride celebration became more than just a demonstration. The December 26, 1978, the Council of Ministers chaired by Adolfo Suarez removed homosexuality from the Law of Danger and Social Rehabilitation . A few months later, medical, civic and cultural organizations, along with 50 Catalan municipalities led by Barcelona, ​​demanded the legalization of the Front.

 homosexuality in Spain

Manifesto published by the Front d’Alliberament Gai de Catalunya against the Law of Danger and Social Rehabilitation . Source: Todo Collection

The request became a reality on July 16, 1980, twenty years after the amendment of the Vagrancy Act by Franco. The Front d’Alliberament Gai de Catalunya stopped work underground, but the persecution of homosexuals continued. As Antonio Poveda , former president of the Federation of explains Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (FELGTB), homosexuals were still exposed to the raids and arrests by security forces of the state.

The latest, according to the Federation itself, took place in Barcelona before World Cup 1982 . The Government Delegate in Barcelona decided to close some friendly bars, with the aim of showing a “good image
town visitors to the World Cup.” In protest, the entrepreneurs decided to place LGBT rainbow flag with the symbol of Naranjito fanning on the doors of the establishments. “Ours really is global,” quipped the slogan of the demonstrations.

The fight against homophobia

What these protesters did not know is that some world would turn against the homosexual movement. Something invisible, imperceptible, mortal. The HIV expanded rapidly in the eighties worldwide, further stigmatizing the group . The fight against the virus that causes AIDS remains today a challenge for millions of patients, scientists and physicians looking to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment. In 1991 a group of neo-Nazis murdered in Barcelona Sonia Rescalvo their sexual identity

Many people died from a syndrome that extinguished their defensive system. Freddy Mercury , the leader of Queen, confirmed in 1991 that he was infected by that damn virus. The fight against political repression in Spain was transformed into a movement to try to stop contagion, affecting especially in the beginning to gay men. The stigmatization of LGBT soared to the point that its effects are still observed today, as evidenced by the recent ban donating blood of men who have sex with people of the same sex.

Not only HIV infected and killed millions of people around the world. He was also to blame for campaigns that fueled the fear and hatred of different. On October 6, 1991, a group of neo-Nazis murdered in the Parc de la Ciutadella to Sonia Rescalvo , a transsexual 45 years. The city where the LGBT movement had awakened in horror saw six young right-wing kicked to death the woman in the square of the musicians. 22 years after his murder, the City Council decided to rename this square in his memory

 homosexuality in Spain

plaque honoring Sonia Rescalvo, transgender murdered in Barcelona by a group of neo-Nazis. Source: Enfo (Wikimedia)

The history of homosexuality in Spain is an eternal seesaw battles and conquests. The demonstration of the Ramblas was only the beginning, because every day thousands of people are forced to live with their own Stonewall, including attacks and homophobic attacks . The adoption of the Criminal Code of 1995 was a milestone for the group, to include protection of sexual orientation in Articles 510, 511 and 512, considering as an aggravating factor the homophobia. Spain is the country where there is greater acceptance of homosexuality

On June 30, 2005, the Congress of Deputies made possible a dream that never imagined those demonstrators from the Ramblas. The approval of Law 13/2005, with the invaluable work of activists like Pedro Zerolo , making Spain the third country in the world to give the green light to gay marriage, after the Netherlands and Belgium. The US also gave the green light Friday to equal marriage. These texts have not only allowed same-sex couples can marry, but has also made visible the reality of thousands of homes.

According to the Pew Research Center , Spain is the country where there is greater acceptance of homosexuality (88%) in the world . The struggles of the LGBT community still continue today based on large and small achievements, including the adoption of the Law on gays and lesbians and homophobia of Catalan Parliament. If Stonewall marked a turning point in American history, something similar happened with the manifestation of the Ramblas in 1977. Those 4,000 people began to walk a path that continues today in favor of respect for equality and diversity.

When Ramblas wanted to be Stonewall
Source: english  
June 28, 2015


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