NewsLatin AmericaThe fashion of community weddings in Caracas: a yes I want with a crowd

The fashion of community weddings in Caracas: a yes I want with a crowd

Caracas. “Kiss, kiss, kiss!” Said the mayor before calling the next couple who would declare a civil marriage, just after coordinating that everyone look at the camera for the portrait and inviting them to share the event on social networks. “so that it is known”. In the Altamira square in Caracas, on the afternoon of Valentine’s Day, a day of heavy traffic in the city like any commercial event, 24 couples took advantage of the offer made by the municipality of Chacao to get married in a community wedding, with expenses for makeup and hairstyles. payments for them plus advice on the selection of dresses, a bottle of sparkling wine with glasses, occasional photographs and a night in a hotel for the honeymoon.

“We want to instill values ​​in children and people who come here to the square and see that the family is the fundamental basis of society, we want to promote moral and family values,” said Gustavo Duque, the local president of the smallest municipality and of more city revenue. All those who managed to submit the required legal documents on time signed up for the collective wedding, because according to the organizers there were people who were left on the waiting list. Wilmer and Merchy were the last to sign up. They have a 10-year relationship with children, but they had problems renewing her marriage certificate. “I’m excited,” she commented before her couple filed in with the other women dressed as brides. They also formalized their 23-year love story Luis, 63, and Giolly, “now from Velasquez”, 54. They were the oldest couple and the most photographed in an event that this mayor repeats for the second time, a formula that has been an old tradition of Venezuelan politicians, but this time it was even covered by international news agencies.

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The grooms waiting for the brides.Firefighters Elvis Rivas, 33, and Yusbeilis Herrera, 21, kiss before the wedding.One of the bride and groom combs their hair for the group photo after the ceremony.The public observes the collective wedding.

In Venezuela, despite everything, people still get married. Luis and Giolly saw the opportunity to get married as “a thing of God”, because a few days ago they received the most important sign. The divorce documents of his previous partner finally came out a few days ago, after more than six years misplaced in court. She went to her wedding one day after receiving a dose of chemotherapy for breast cancer, she asked for a change of position in the public act so as not to receive sun, and she did not stop smiling throughout the day. The group took photos in front of a huge heart that adorns the square to complete the phrase and political slogan I (love) Chacaowhich lately has become a trend among politicians from all over the country who have replicated the marketing strategy even in the smallest town in the country devoured by inflation, the political and social crisis, but full of love signs placed by its rulers .

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Earlier, on the other side of the city, activists for LGBTQ rights used the date to claim their right to marriage in front of the Supreme Court, that is, the reason why a collective wedding officiated by an authority on the other side of the city excludes homosexual couples and other existing forms of family. The small group of activists with balloons and banners demanded from the magistrates equality to be able to marry, respect the right to identity of trans, intersex and non-binary people and also the cessation of the criminalization of homosexual relationships within the Armed Forces, punishable by the internal regulations to which the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, referred in his recent visit to the country.

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In the social networks in which the collective wedding was announced, there were those who asked about the right to marry between people of the same sex, and others who requested mass divorces. For the mayor, same-sex marriage is an issue that “we would prefer to see legislated nationally before making a municipal decision,” he commented in statements to the media before declaring 24 couples husbands and wives. “It is a controversial issue, but it is a reality and all sectors of society must be listened to and valued as human beings.”

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