The Dominican Republic: Red-state in the making?

Contributed by: Gwen Beetham (our unofficial Caribbean correspondent)
Yesterday in the Dominican Republic, the term “sexual freedom” was deleted from a clause in a proposed Civil Code reform for fear that it “would open the doors to future homosexual unions.” Of course, it came as no surprise to me that a primarily Catholic country would cite “conservative and strong family” values as a reason for the deletion (abortion is also illegal in this country, as it everywhere in the Latin American/Caribbean region except for Puerto Rico and Cuba.)
Actually, on that topic, I would like to point out that across Latin America, an estimated 5,000 women die every year as a result of illegal abortions, and 1 in 30 Dominican women has an illegal abortion every year – one of the highest rates in the region. (The abortion rates are highest in Chile and Peru, where the rates are 1 in 20. In the United States, the rate is 21.3 per 1,000 women.)
…But back to the homophobia. What’s really puzzling to me is that the Attorney General (Rodolfo Espiñeira) also said: “I believe we still aren’t sufficiently civilized for legislation of that nature.”
In case you’re saying to yourself “surely this gringa has misinterpreted”… he actually said: “Creo que todavía no estamos tan civilizados para una legislación de esta naturaleza”. See for yourself (if you read español).
Sorry, I’ve only been living here a month. Can’t explain.

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  • bear

    I don’t think it is puzzling that he thought it. I am surprised that he actually said it. I assume he figures the country isn’t progressive enough to accept certain ideas. They can’t handle it so they shouldn’t allow it. I’m sure there are liberals here in Texas who think we as a state are not sufficiently civilized (to their dismay) for a lot of things. They just haven’t been elected Attorney General here.
    Jessica – “Sorry, I’ve only been living here a month.”
    Did you leave the country? Just couldn’t take the Bush administration anymore and had to get out?

  • Life

    The Closed Television System was adopted in the athletic venues and swimming pools to provide immediate reporting of results to reporters and sport officials.
    As described under other sections of this report, this consisted of an industrial vidicon camera to send pictures and a portable transistor TV to receive them. The camera was set near the seats of the final judges of sport organizations, and the TV receiver (micro “6” TV) was set in the seats of officials and reporters.
    Upon the announcement of the results of a race by the final judges, a copy was sent by the vidicon camera, and the same image appeared on the receivers of the officials and the reporters. As transmission was done quicker than any other medium, this system was very popular with the reporters.
    For the athletic events, two cameras and 350 receivers were provided, while an additional two cameras and 100 receivers were installed for swimming and diving.
    The main use for the equipment was quick reporting of the records of the events. When it was not being used for this purpose, however, the system was available for on the spot monitoring of events. (as for instance in the covering of the complete relay of the marathon race, which coverage was tried for the first time at the Tokyo Olympic Games.) This system therefore proved to be a very useful and acceptable adjunct to the overall news reporting facilities during the Tokyo Games.