Women In Costa Rica Are Supporting The LGBTQ Community After A Presidential Candidate Ran His Campaign On An Anti-Gay Platform

credit: @MeLlamoSara / Twitter

Earlier this week, the people of Costa Rica stepped out to the polls to cast their ballots in the country’s presidential election. Amid the lines of voters, eight women dressed in white bonnets and crimson robes were also waiting.

The women wore costumes that harked back to garbs worn by the female characters of Margaret Atwood’s famous book “The Handmaid’s Tale.” As seen in similar gestures across the globe, the women wore the costumes to protest against political policies and politicians that threaten women.

Costa Rican women demonstrated against policies proposed by the country’s presidential front-runner.

Fabricio Alvarado, a former television journalist-turned-Evangelical Christian singer, ran on a platform that made homophobia the magnet of his campaign. The right wing politician pushed forward to lead the race after fiercely and openly rejecting a ruling made by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that called on Costa Rica to grant same-sex couples civil marriage rights.

The eight women at the polls on Sunday rebuked his platform and wore their costumes to support the LGBTQ community and advocate for the rights of women.

A letter signed by the protestors outlined the reason behind their demonstration and costumes.

In a letter published by The Tico Times, the eight women — Gabriela Clarke, Ana María Rodríguez, Angélica León, Alicia Coto, Yorleny Araya, Karla Piedra, Paola Rogue and Sara Mata — called for the continued push for equality for all.

“Today we celebrate, and we decided to make it a costume party as well. Why? Because we want to and we can. Because protest is also a form of celebration. That’s how lucky we still are. We can pretend to be part of a renowned work of fiction, in the face of a fundamentalist threat that is anything but fictitious… We vote for our rights. We vote for our safety. We vote for our freedom. Today we use our voices – because we still count on them and don’t plan on letting go.”

The women cast their votes at a center in Heredia, just outside of San Jose.

Even Margaret Atwood was moved by the women and their effort to highlight the global issue.

A New York Times report published on Tuesday revealed that while Alvardo won the first round of presidential votes against his opponent Carols Alvarado Quesada, the two will square off again in the country’s April 1 runoff.

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