In January, the transgender support group Chrysallis launched an awareness campaign in northern Spain using the slogan: “There are girls with penises and boys with vulvas.” An ultraconservative Catholic group called Hazte Oír (“Make Yourself Heard”) then started an online petition to have the campaign pulled. It did not work, but Hazte Oír had another ace up its sleeve.
On Monday, the group launched a campaign of its own in Madrid: a bus plastered with a sign that says: “Boys have penises, girls have vulvas. Don’t let them fool you. If you’re born a man, you’re a man. If you’re a woman, you will continue to be so.”
The bus will circulate in the capital throughout this week, although it will not make any fixed stops, said a spokesperson from the group’s media department.
Hazte Oír feels that sexual diversity laws in Spain reward “the conversion of individuals to homosexuality”
“Inside, it’s a bus like any other. The message is on the outside,” said the spokesperson.
Actuall, a publication used by Hazte Oír to publicize its actions, reported that the bus will travel to other Spanish cities as “a counter-campaign to respond to the message by the Chrysallis association.”
But the group’s press department denied that it is “a direct counter-campaign,” and said that the real goal is to publicize a brochure that Hazte Oír created last November warning citizens about “the real threat” posed by diversity laws in Spain.
That brochure features a cover in which two children raise their arms in a fascist salute to a rainbow flag (a personal take on an original photograph showing children saluting a Franco image). The text’s main message is that sexual diversity laws in Spain reward “the conversion of individuals to homosexuality” and turn heterosexuals into “second-rate citizens.”
The response to the appearance of the bus in Madrid was swift. Arcópoli, a Madrid-based LGTB association, said it was considering taking legal action against Hazte Oír over this campaign, the news agency Europa Press reported, while on Tuesday the Socialist parliamentary group in Congress called for the public prosecutor to intervene to have the vehicle taken off the roads.
For its part, Madrid City Hall said that the campaign bus does not meet municipal requirements, and is studying possible measures to take it off the roads.
The regional premier of Madrid, Cristina Cifuentes of the conservative Popular Party (PP), also announced that she had called on the central government delegate to communicate the facts of the campaign to the public prosecutor.
English version by Susana Urra.