Unexpected turn of events in the plenary session of the Madrid City Council, where the PP has joined its votes with those of the left and those of its government partners, Ciudadanos, to approve the permanent placement of the rainbow flag in the Plaza de Pedro Zerolo, in the heart of Chueca, in addition to a monument that remembers all LGTBI people who have been victims due to their sexual condition.
Ciudadanos proposes to place the LGTBI flag in Pedro Zerolo Square and forces Almeida to position himself before Vox
What was unexpected was because in the speech prior to the vote on the initiative, presented by Deputy Mayor Begoña Villacís, the PP was not in favor of leaving in the future reform of this central square in Madrid, which is being processed, no memory of the LGTBI movement beyond the red ribbon that remembers the victims of AIDS. “The residents want a habitable square, free of obstacles and that the red ribbon is present in the remodeling project of the square,” Sonia Cea highlighted in her speech. But everything changed in the vote.
After the parties present in the plenary hall had expressed their positions, the PSOE modified the point that referred to the rainbow banner, adding that in addition to the flag of the Citizens’ proposal, they would request “the installation of a monument that recalls to all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who throughout the centuries have been persecuted for their sexual orientation and gender identity. ” The PP supported the initiative thinking that it was being discussed whether to vote, and its spokesperson Andrea Levy gave the green light to the project, which only had the abstention of one party, Vox.
Seeing that it had been approved with their votes, Almeida asked the general secretary of the plenary session for confirmation. “The amendment does not have to be voted the same as the final text,” complained the mayor before accepting the result of the proposal, after the table’s explanations. Meanwhile, Levy spoke with his peers with an indignant gesture. “What a bad vote”, had been heard before the voice of an unknown councilor in a microphone that was left open.
Although the popular votes were not decisive for the Citizens’ initiative to go ahead, their position was relevant because the Center councilor, José Fernández (PP), is the one who has to be in charge of translating the agreement of the plenary session in the imminent reform project of the Pedro Zerolo square, which is expected to be carried out in this legislature. The plenary session already approved a similar recognition in July 2015, although it had not yet been carried out, recalled the socialist spokesperson, Mar Espinar.
Strong condemnation of neo-Nazi chants and nuances
The vote for the recognition of the LGTBI movement and its victims was the third point of a proposal presented by Deputy Mayor Begoña Villacís. In it he demanded the recognition of “civil and social freedoms” and the condemnation of the neo-Nazi demonstration that ran through the streets of Chueca on September 18, events that are being investigated by the Prosecutor’s Office for possible hate crimes. All the parties present condemned in plenary “energetically” and without fissures the chants against the homosexual group expressed by the protesters.
Villacís also asked in his initiative that the City Council support the recent resolution of the European Parliament which requires members of the EU to end discrimination based on sexual orientation, and that marriages and unions between same-sex couples enjoy of the same rights throughout the European Union. The PP abstained in this vote in the European Parliament and it also did so on Tuesday. “This plenary session does not have powers to tell any state what to do,” recalled the popular mayor Sonia Cea, who also took the opportunity to reproach the left for not supporting the persecution of the LGTBI community in “Venezuela”, “Cuba” or “Afghanistan”.
“We have to continue defending rights always, because we can go backwards,” recalled Villacís from the speaker’s rostrum as he wished “that the rainbow flag fly in Pedro Zerolo Square, because it represents freedom and equality as the flag of Spain.” . He also defended that “Madrid is not a city in decline, as some defend,” he added.