Justo Orozco is a legislator and Protestant minister who also leads the Committee of Human Rights at the National Assembly of Costa Rica. According to an article recently published by Act Up, Mr. Orozco spoke to national newspaper La Nacion and categorized homosexuality as a sin with a cure. The Act Up site describes itself as a “perspective from over 60 countries and 50 languages highlighting our smaller world as well as our larger challenges.”
The declarations made to the press by Mr. Orozco come at a time when several groups and individuals in Costa Rica are calling for his resignation from the National Assembly, or at least from the Human Rights committee. Mr. Orozco assumed leadership of the committee in early June, and one of his first actions was to terminate a legislative proposal to recognize same-gender unions as bona fide civil unions in Costa Rica. The proposal aimed to extend certain rights to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered (LGBT) couples, such as being recognized as successors in cases of intestacy, and receiving social security benefits when their partners pass away.
When Mr. Orozco, who in addition to being a Protestant minister is also an attorney, was asked if he considered homosexual behavior as reversible, he answered affirmatively and then added that he considers homosexuality a religious sin:
“Unfortunately, I believe so, because it is written in The Bible. I have anecdotal proof. In the local churches here [in the province of Heredia], I met one who was that way and who got straightened out.”
The president of the Diversity Movement in Costa Rica, Marco Castillo, has announced that his organization will file a complaint before the Inter-American Human Rights Commission with regard to Mr. Orozco’s declarations. Mr. Castillo is not alone in this sentiment; thousands of people in Costa Rica have taken to social media outlets to call for Mr. Orozco’s resignation.