THE Popular Party (PP) in Sevilla has denounced an LGBT exhibition in the Andalucian city celebrating gay pride and called for its removal, sparking an intense discussion on Spanish cultural norms.
Joined in its outrage by a right-wing offshoot party known as VOX, the PP contingent in Sevilla’s city hall described the exhibition as “obscene and tasteless”, while the ruling PSOE and LGBT organisations launched a passionate defence of the display, accusing the PP of showing its most “vile and censorial side”.
“It is one thing to defend the rights of homosexuals, but it is another to show such poor taste. The first to be offended are the many gays who are reaching out to us,” said PP councillor Gregario Serrano.
“We do not only respect, but also defend and support gender diversity and the rights of these people, but we believe that exhibitions like this one do them a disservice,” he added.
VOX, who schismed from the PP to pursue more aggressive policies towards Basque and Catalan independence, went a step further, launching a complaint to the Children’s Ombudsman arguing the images “offend and damage the morals of those who do not share homosexual ideals”.
The self-described Christian party believes the posters violate a law protecting minors and “waste taxpayers money to benefit a minority group which has opted for vulgar exhibitionism”.
Defenders of the display, which appeared in Sevilla’s city centre last week to compliment gay pride celebrations, include the mayor, Juan Espadas, who contended that the critics were in fact the intolerant minority out of step with increasingly progressive public opinion.
“Those who are scandalised should think about whether they are a part of the 21st century and the Sevilla that we want,” he declared.
“It’s sad that a political party in the 21st century can be offended by two men kissing in a picture. Once again, the PP is showing its most vile and censorial side, one that would be expected from a party that’s aligned with the extreme right, that is capable of defending the ‘gag law’ and willing to censor and block anything that challenges its ultra-conservative ideology,” said PSOE spokesman Antonio Munoz.
A coalition of LGBT groups named Plataforma 28J said that the PP was entirely confused about the display’s purpose.
“It doesn’t degrade us, but rather it dignifies us. We don’t know what the PP means by obscene images, but it is obviously a dignified exhibition that depicts the existing diversity of this group, that shows parents and their children people who are protesting for their rights in our city,” a statement from the group read.
Left-wing group United Left, who also have a presence in City Hall, emphasised the importance of normalisation and raising awareness so as to prevent future intolerance, and criticised the PP for its attitude to civil rights.