By Diego Lopez Marina
The U.S. State Department has contributed $20,600 in taxpayer money to finance workshops and “drag queen” theater performances for young students, including minors, at the Abraham Lincoln North American Ecuadorian Center in Cuenca.
The country’s currency is the U.S. dollar.
The State Department website notes that the grant, awarded Sept. 23, seeks to “promote diversity and inclusion.” To meet this condition, the cultural center must do “three workshops, 12 drag theater performances, and a two-minute documentary” by Aug. 31, 2023.
A drag queen may be defined as a man who dresses up in garish women’s clothes, typically wearing a colorful wig, ornate makeup, platform shoes, etc.
In a statement to ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language sister news agency, Alicia Boroto, director of the Abraham Lincoln North American Ecuadorian Center, said Oct. 21 that her program seeks to provide a space for “cultural exchange and creative expression for adolescents and young adults to promote tolerance.”
She also said that the program is voluntary and “is aimed at young people 15 years of age and older, with parental consent.”
Politician and former member of the country’s National Assembly Héctor Yépez said that “it seems to be an attack against the values of the great majority of Ecuadorians that the United States is practicing a ‘diplomacy of gender ideology.’”
“It saddens me that the taxes of American families are wasted in perverting values of other countries, when rather we need to strengthen public safety during the worst crime crisis in Ecuador’s history,” Yépez said in an interview with ACI Prensa.
Martha Villafuerte, president of Familia Ecuador, described the U.S. subsidy as “irresponsible, unscrupulous, illogical, and inconsistent with all the bases of Ecuadorian culture.”
“It’s worrisome that this cultural center lends itself to presenting projects and shows with content not suitable for minors and young people, instead of asking for money for scholarships or financial assistance programs for needy children in our country,” Villafuerte told ACI Prensa.
The pro-family leader pointed to the “quiet” way in which this type of subsidy is made, because “they know that this will be rejected by Ecuadorian society, by the vast majority.”
“What can we parents do about it? Well, express our rejection on the page of the North American Ecuadorian Center and make a statement in person in Cuenca, perhaps through a demonstration,” she concluded.