Hounduras: Gay AIDS Group Denied Legal Registration

The Tegucigalpa based Association of Honduran Homosexuals Against AIDS (la Asociaci—n Hondure–a de Homosexuales que Luchan Contra el SIDA -- AHHCOS) was refused legal registration of their organization by the Honduran Ministry of the Interior. Respectfully worded letters are needed urging the relevant government offices to revisit their decision and grant AHHCOS legal personality.

AHHCOS is a non governmental organization (NGO) that was formed four years ago in the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula. The group adopted their present name and location on 30 August 1992.

AHHCOS submitted their application for legal registration with letters of support from other NGOs, such as the local UNICEF office. The Honduran Ministry of Public Health recommended that the application be granted. Nonetheless, the Ministry of the Interior declined AHHCOS' application on 30 September 1994. In their written decision they contend that AHHCOS violates public order, morality and public decency. The Ministry further alleged that their rejection of the application was based on science which considers homosexuality a "sexual perversion".

Letters should politely but firmly make the following points:

  1. Sound public health policy demands that communities impacted by AIDS organize to respond in their communities. Denying legal registration to a gay AIDS group simply sabotages promising and necessary health interventions.
  2. Lesbian and gay activists cannot be excluded from guarantees of freedom of association. They deserve and need the same state protection and recognition afforded other organized groups.
  3. The ubiquity of the allegation notwithstanding, sexual minorities do not in any way constitute a threat to public order, health or morality. In contrast, intolerance, fear and bigotry, and the government policies that foster them, represent serious threats to diverse and democratic civil societies.

Write to:

Lic. Efrain Moncada Silva Ministro de Gobernaci—n y Justicia
Tegucigalpa
HONDURAS
fax: +504-37-57-75
Lic. Carlos Roberto Reina
Presidente de la Repœblica de Honduras
Casa Presidencial
Tegucigalpa
HONDURAS