Ecuadorian conservative activist Fernando Balda asked the National Electoral Council on Monday to begin collecting signatures for a referendum aimed at preventing homosexual marriage, following the ruling of the Constitutional Court that opens the door to its legalization.
“We have just asked the CNE for popular consultation forms to collect signatures to prevent equal marriage,” Balda said when he left the Council.
The political activist, best known for a case in which he has accused former president Rafael Correa of kidnapping, was in favor of not having the Court decide on this issue but the people, because of its implications.
Among them, he mentioned “the claim that transgender children are legal in Ecuador,” he said, referring to homosexual couples being able to adopt, one of the next objectives that this group has set after the historic failure of last week.
On that day, the Constitutional Court of Ecuador ruled, by five votes in favor and four against, that the law be amended to make room for same-sex marriage, a verdict that has trembled in the most conservative circles.
Balda said Monday that what they seek with this initiative is to respect the decision of those who do not agree.
“We respect their pretensions, we believe that they have achieved an advance in them with this opinion. However, we believe that just as they have the right to have five judges agree with them, we have the right to be millions of Ecuadorians who decide if Ecuador is willing, or not, to approve the equal marriage “, he insisted.
The option to call a referendum was raised on Friday by the president of the Court, Hernán Salgado, when he exhorted the Legislative Power to begin the process of adapting the constitutional norm in a press conference.
However, in the opportunity left open the possibility that a referendum can reverse this judicial decision.
Balda raised the witness and in less than 48 hours he appeared at the CNE to ask for the forms of registration of signatures necessary to request the consultation, a process that in any case is still long.
Asked by Efe, the political activist explained that he begins with the petition for signatures of a percentage of the census, which in his case would be equivalent to “650,000”.
Beyond Balda’s initiative, other conservative groups have called for demonstrations on June 29 to express their rejection of the judicial decision, which has also met with opposition from the Church.
In parallel, and while the Government is silent on the verdict, the LGTBI collective calls for its immediate application, considering that the Constitutional Court is the highest judicial body.
And like the conservative sectors, it has summoned in the same day a national mobilization in several cities in favor of the equalization of rights. (I)