Telemundo Puerto Rico on Sunday aired a
virtual vigil to remember the lives lost to homophobia and
transphobia in Puerto Rico.
Titled Love Will Always Win, the
special coincided with the International Day Against Homophobia and
Transphobia and featured out singer Ricky Martin.
The vigil was organized by the Broad
Committee for the Search for Equality (CABE in Spanish).
Alphonso David, president of the Human
Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate,
said in a blog post that Puerto Rico has experienced an “epidemic
of violence against the LGBTQ community” over the past 15 months.
accused of murdering transgender women indicted by Puerto Rico
federal grand jury.)
“Neulisa. Yampi. Serena. Layla.
Penélope. These are the names of a few of the precious lives we have
lost, this year alone, to hatred and bigotry, exclusion and
violence,” David said. “And while we will hold their names in our
hearts and memories, we have a duty to bring an end to the hate that
fuels the horrific violence that took them away from us. We must be
united in our fight for equality, our fight for justice, and our
fight for every member of the LGBTQ community to be treated with
dignity and respect.”
Martin, who appeared from his home and
spoke in Spanish, called for a change in leadership in Puerto Rico.
“The dehumanization and hatred that
persists towards gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people,
has led to crimes and violent and highly degrading acts being
committed against our own,” Martin
“Human rights defenders within the
larger LGBTQ family are not going to stop until there is not one more
hate crime in our land. In the fight I am and will be present,
because my dream is equality. ...We are going to infect our island
with love and do everything necessary to remove these leaders, to be
able to bring leaders for the entire island, for all Puerto Ricans,”