Colombian Navy denies discriminating against gay men

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Colombia News - Navy

Colombian Navy officials have stated that the service does not discriminate against gay men–three days after a Navy commander said homosexual relationships are “not appropriate” on his ship.

The Colombian Navy said Friday that it does said it does “not discriminate nor object” to gay men joining its ranks, and it does not consider sexual orientation during its recruiting process.

“The policies established by the Navy Command are based on respect for dignity, regardless of gender, race or [sexual orientation] status,” said the Navy in a statement.

Admiral Roberto Garcia Marquez’s remarks came on Wednesday while talking to a local radio station, according to media reports. He said that he would find a way to remove a gay couple from the Navy’s ranks “through legal channels.”

He also said that gay men in the Navy can “not come out of the closet.” But Marquez added that an “individual’s sexual orientation need not affect his military service, if the individual manages it in private.”

In 2011, a law was passed in Colombia making discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientatio, race, and gender illegal. The law carries penalties of one to three years in prison and fines of up to $4,500 for those found guilty.

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