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Gay Rights Group Denounces Ombudsman

June 25, 2004

A gay rights group this week chargedthat the Ombudsman has failed to defendthe rights of homosexual Costa Ricans.The Central American Center for theInvestigation and Promotion of HumanRights (CIPAC) says it will call for theremoval of Ombudsman José ManuelEchandi before the Legislative Assemblyand two international rights organizations.The group is gathering signatures on apetition that it will distribute Sunday atthe second annual Gay and LesbianFestival of Pride in Sexual Diversity (seeseparate story in Weekend section).Echandi wrote in a letter to the organizationthat he would not help themchange the law to give same-sex couplesthe same rights as heterosexual couplesbecause each aspect of the issue should bestudied separately. He recommendedCIPAC take the matter directly to theassembly.Madrigal claimed Echandi is dodgingthe issue to save his future politicalcareer, a sentiment that President AbelPacheco voiced last week after Echandicriticized Pacheco’s administration aslacking transparency and citizen participation(TT, June 18).

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