El Salvador Opens Polls to Transgender Voters for First Time
March 27, 2014 by HRC staff
Post submitted by Limor Finkel, Former HRC Global Engagement Program Coordinator
For the first time in the country’s history, transgender individuals were allowed to vote in recent elections in El Salvador.
In the past, transgender people have been denied voting rights because their physical appearance did not match the legal documents required to vote in El Salvador. This all changed due back in February, when the Supreme Electoral Tribunal ruled that all individuals have the right to vote, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.
While this ruling marks a significant victory for transgender rights in a nation that sees some of the highest rates of violence towards the transgender community worldwide—a rate of 0.71 killings per million inhabitants just because of who they are.
Activists also fear that the progress made is only temporary based on the decisions of the outgoing President Mauricio Funes. Transgender Salvadorans will have to wait to see whether or not his successor, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, abides by the same court ruling.
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