Newsflash: Patriotism Is Not Inclusive

On Sept. 26, 2020, Dominican Vice-Minister Dilia Leticia Jorge Mera posted an LGBTQ+ inclusive tweet, which caused outrage from Dominican citizens. 

Mera just began her job as Vice-Minister after July’s elections. After assuming her position, she posted a tweet using inclusive pronouns (they/them) as well as a picture of her office, where the gay pride flag as well as the transgender flag were placed on her desk in front of the Dominican flag. In a matter of minutes, she received backlash for trying to push forward the “gay agenda.” 

“This is why people take part in the government?” said Twitter user @ viktoraarons. “To push an ideology upon everyone…” 

The Dominican Republic relies heavily on the ideals of the Bible, and LGBTQ+ rights are controversial. A group of Dominican citizens began a campaign against homophobia in the Dominican Republic and using #RDContraLaHomofobia as a way 

to promote their movement. A promotional video was posted on Sept. 20 on Instagram and has received a large amount of backlash. 

“You can do whatever you want with your sexual organs,” said Instagram user @ isaurisalmanzar. “However, you need to respect religious people and our patriotic symbols.” 

The response on social media led to a protest on Sept. 23 in front of the National Palace. It was led by Carlos Peña, an evangelical priest who had the intention
of stopping the “gay agenda” that Vice- Minister Jorge Mera supposedly pushed forward. 

Instagram user @santosfer, who is a part of the LGBTQ+ community, took part in an interview with the Dominican news program “Opción New York,” where he was asked questions about the Vice Minister’s tweet. They also allowed the viewers to call the show and voice their opinions on what has been occurring in regard to the LGBTQ+ community in the Dominican Republic. 

“The LGBTQ+ community wants to make a joke out of our patriotic symbols,” said Suazo, a member of the show. “They take everything patriotic as a joke.” 

However, this post, in contrast to the previous two, received a positive reaction from Dominican citizens. 

“Well done,” said Instagram user @ameli_ a1636. “Finally, something positive…” 

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