OutPower

LGBTQ Representation in Colombia’s Congress Triples

A historic number of out LGBTQ candidates won their races in yesterday’s Congressional elections in Colombia. Incumbent Angélica Lozano won reelection and candidates Susana Boreal, Andrés Cancimance, Alejandro García, Carolina Giraldo and María del Mar Pizarro won their inaugural elections. With this record result, LGBTQ representation will triple from two to six in the Colombian Congress. Giraldo is the first out LGBTQ person elected to Congress from Risaralda and is the first out lesbian ever elected to the House of Representatives. Boreal, Cancimance, García and Mar Pizarro are the first out LGBTQ people elected to Congress from their respective departments.

This year, 24 out LGBTQ people ran in Colombia’s Congressional election, up over 50% from 2018 when 14 out LGBTQ people ran. LGBTQ Victory Institute trained ten of the candidates who ran this year, including Giraldo and Cancimance.

Alhelí Partida, Director of Global Programs at LGBTQ Victory Institute, released the following statement about the election:

“For far too long, the LGBTQ community in Colombia has lived without equitable representation in Congress. This historic election exemplifies growing momentum for equality in the country. In addition to the trailblazers who ran this cycle, this success also belongs to the grassroots activists and community leaders who worked tirelessly to support these candidates and promote LGBTQ acceptance in communities across the country.”

LGBTQ Victory Institute, in partnership with Caribe Afirmativo, has worked in Colombia since 2012. During this time, the organizations have trained over 150 out LGBTQ leaders who either ran for office or are seriously considering running. In addition to training LGBTQ candidates, LGBTQ Victory Institute and Caribe Afirmativo assist with LGBTQ voter engagement and education, including educating LGBTQ voters about candidates’ track records on LGBTQ-relevant issues and get out the vote initiatives in races with LGBTQ candidates.

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