Guatemalan president vows to veto abortion, same-sex marriage law

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei said on Thursday he would veto a bill to increase abortion penalties to 25 years in prison and ban same-sex marriage, calling it unconstitutional and a violation of human rights. international conventions.

The bill, revived by the conservative Viva party after being frozen in 2018, was passed Tuesday night by lawmakers from different parties, including some Giammattei allies. “I have spoken with the Speaker of the Legislature to ask Congress to suspend this law, and if not, I have decided that if this law reaches my office, it will be subject to a veto,” the president said in a video broadcast on national networks.

Giammattei said the bill was not supported by his administration and he could not support it because it would violate two international conventions to which Guatemala is a signatory as well as the country’s constitution. If passed, it would increase penalties for abortions from five to 10 years to 25 years, ban same-sex marriage and teaching about gender identity or “teaching about sexual behavior outside of heterosexuality as normal.

The proposal has been criticized by human rights groups, who have taken to the streets in recent days to protest. The president announced his intention to veto the bill hours after hosting an event with evangelical pastors at which he declared Guatemala the “pro-life capital of Iberoamerica”.

Giammattei’s recommendation to scrap the bill will be discussed in Congress next week. If two-thirds of the 160 lawmakers vote to move the bill forward, it will be sent to the president’s office to veto it.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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