I just got back from Belem, Brazil, where I attended the World Social Forum. I presented on two panels: the first one, held with Catholics for a Free Choice (Argentina) – Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir (Argentina), was on religious fundamentalisms and sexual diversity in the era of the globalization, and the second was on a panel with representatives from five social movements in dialogue with each other on how to take up each other’s issues within their own movements.
133,000 people from 142 different countries participated at the Forum. Representatives from five South American progressive governments also took part in the Forum—presidents Hugo Chavez (Venezuela), Fernando Lugo (Paraguay), Evo Morales (Bolivia), Rafael Correa (Ecuador) and Lula Da Silva (Brazil).
President Morales talked about the new Bolivian Constitution, ratified by referendum this past month and that protects sexual orientation, gender identity and sexual and reproductive rights. He emphasized that it represented the defeat of a particular sector of the Catholic Church hierarchy in Bolivia. “Another church is possible,” he said, provoking enthusiastic applause from the audience.