Singer Ricky Martin showed his disapproval of a move by Puerto Rico's Senate to amend the island's hate-crime law to eliminate protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
"I'm very sad about the turn the discussion on Criminal Law is taking in Puerto Rico that proposes the elimination of aggravating factors in cases where crimes are committed out of prejudice toward the victim," the openly gay star said on his Web site.
Martin said that while great nations focus on providing their citizens with basic rights, some politicians in Puerto Rico are doing just the opposite, "promoting inequality and hate."
"They ought to do their homework and review a little the Universal Declaration of Human Rights...which says that everyone - the citizens - are equal before the law and have, without distinction, the right to equal protection under the law," he said.
The American Civil Liberties Union chapter in Puerto Rico expressed Monday its opposition to the Senate bill to eliminate the aggravating factor in hate crimes against LGBT individuals and foreigners, the latter group principally represented on the island by Dominicans.
"I'm very sad about the turn the discussion on Criminal Law is taking in Puerto Rico that proposes the elimination of aggravating factors in cases where crimes are committed out of prejudice toward the victim."
- Ricky Martin
The ACLU said it will express its disagreement to the lower house of the Puerto Rican legislature, which is due to take up the Senate measure.
The Puerto Rican section of Amnesty International also joined the chorus of voices rejecting the Senate initiative.