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Bathroom dispute threatens top Organization of American States meeting in Peru

Organization of American States
Posted at 1:00 PM, Jul 15, 2022

A dispute over a gender-neutral bathroom has endangered Peru's plan to host the next gathering of the Organization of American States' top decision-making body.

Peru's congress is dominated by social conservatives, and it has voted to deny authorization for the scheduled Oct. 5-7 OAS General Assembly. It is supposed to bring together foreign ministers from across the hemisphere under the theme: "Together against inequality and discrimination."

The OAS had requested at least one gender-neutral bathroom be available. Peru's Foreign Minister César Landa issued an appeal on Twitter Friday urging lawmakers to reconsider. He said the action "seriously damages the international image of Peru."

“If they want to go to the bathroom here, they will go the bathroom that corresponds to their sex as it is: woman and man,” said Tania Ramírez, a Popular Front legislator.

The controversy struck gay lawmaker Susel Paredes as “a complete absurdity.” A gender-neutral bathroom is just “another bathroom that has a toilet, nothing more.”