The gay marriage issue in Peru have been under discussion in the country for some time but recently the issue have also become a political football.
The apparent reason for this change comes from statements made by a representative of the Catholic Church in Peru, firmly rejecting the notion of marriage between people of the same sex, which generated a media frenzy that, in turn, has provoked all types of reactions among Peruvian activists, bloggers, newspaper columnists, common citizens and, as mentioned previously, among the presidential candidates in the election this year. The Presidential hopefuls are using the situation to define their positions on the issue.
Former president Alejandro Toledo (of the party Perú Posible), who leads the recent polls for President, confirms that his suggested political program is examining civil unions between homosexuals and working “toward an inclusive society. This is not a repressive State.”
Manuel Rodríguez Cuadros, candidate of the party Fuerza Social, has declared himself in favor of reforming Peru's laws in order to have marriages between couples of the same sex.
Meanwhile, other candidates are considering less radical legal measures. Luis Castañeda (of Solidaridad Nacional) has proposed giving inheritance benefits, and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (of Alianza por el Gran Cambio) suggests establishing civil unions, as does Keiko Fujimori (of Fuerza 2011).
Political analysts in the Peruvian media share the opinion that this issue doesn't seem to be an attempt to win voters' ballots, although in a democracy it is always good for the candidates' images to be seen defending the rights of minorities.
As the election date, April 10th, nears, this issue will surely be politicized further in Peru, as much by the candidate advertisements as the activist analysts and other members of Peruvian society.