Colombia: Lesbian former mayor elected to House of Representatives

Angélica Lozano says it’s important to have community’s voice in Congress

A lesbian former councillor has been elected to Colombia’s House of Representatives, winning more than 30,000 votes, the Washington Blade reports.

According to the report, Angélica Lozano, who was the mayor of a Bogotá district that is home to a large gay population, says it’s important to have a voice for the LGBT community in the congress, which she described as a “historically misogynistic and homophobic” institution.

In April last year, the country’s senate rejected a same-sex marriage bill by a vote of 51 to 17, the Blade notes. In 2007, the senate also rejected a measure that would have permitted civil unions for gay people.

But the country’s constitutional court ruled in 2011 that gay couples could register their relationships by 2013 if the legislators voted against gay marriage, the Blade says, adding that a few couples formalized their relationships once the court’s ruling came into effect.

Natasha Barsotti is originally from Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. She had high aspirations of representing her country in Olympic Games sprint events, but after a while the firing of the starting gun proved too much for her nerves. So she went off to university instead. Her first professional love has always been journalism. After pursuing a Master of Journalism at UBC , she began freelancing at Xtra West — now Xtra Vancouver — in 2006, becoming a full-time reporter there in 2008.

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