Grupo Gay da Bahia
The Grupo Gay da Bahia or simply GGB (Portuguese: [ˈɡɾupu ˈɡej da bɐˈiˑ.jɐ], Gay Group of Bahia, [ʒeʒeˈbe]) is the oldest association for the defense of the human rights for homosexuals functioning in Brazil. Founded in 1980 by Luiz Mott, in the city of Salvador, Bahia, the GGB was registered as a non-profit organization in 1983, and was declared a public service organization of the city of Salvador in 1987. It is a member of the International Lesbian and Gay Association, it forms part of the staff of the International Lesbian and Gay Human Rights Commission, the National Association of Black and White Men Together, and it is a "twin" of the RFSL of Stockholm.
Since 1989, it has been a member of the Ministry of Heath's National Commission to Control AIDS, and since 1995 it has been one of the coordinators of the Secretariat of Human Rights of the Brazilian Association of Gays, Lesbians and Transvestites. The GGB was directly responsible for the foundation of several groups in defense of the human rights of homosexuals in other states of Brazil, and it provides a meeting space for the Lesbian Group of Bahia, the Association of Transvestites of Salvador, and the Anti-AIDS Center of Bahia, entities which are allied with yet independent from the GGB. In 1985, the GGB promoted the Third Encounter of the Brazilian Homosexual Movement and in 1994, the Sixth Encounter of Brazilian AIDS NGO's. The group publishes the GGB Bulletin two or three times a year, and has produced two dozen pamphlets and booklets about homosexuality and AIDS. Marcelo Cerqueira is the current president of the GGB.
The GGB has three objectives:
- To defend the rights to full citizenship for gays, lesbians, transvestites and transsexuals of Bahia and Brazil, denouncing and fighting against all manifestations of homophobia and sexual discrimination;
- To spread accurate information about homosexuality, promoting the establishment of sexual education courses in all schools, to put an end to ignorance and the conspiracy of silence against the "love that [they] dare not speak its name" through a discourse which is scientifically and politically correct;
- To promote awareness among the greatest possible number of gays, lesbians, transvestites and transsexuals about the urgent need to fight for their full civil rights, as well as to give access to information and support regarding safe sex, sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS.
Organization and functioning
The Gay Group of Bahia is coordinated by six non-salaried Directors, (President, Vice-president, Treasurer, and three Coordinators), elected for three years. Any citizen can become a member of the GGB, independent of sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race or ethnicity, religion, or political ideology: the GGB presently has 500 regular members. The GGB has its own center, offered by one of the directors, located at Rua Frei Vicente, 24 – Pelourinho. The space is made up of a three-storey house and holds a small library, an archive and an office with a telephone, fax and computer. It houses the largest archive of newspapers, magazines, and other printed material on the history of homosexuality and LGBT rights in Latin America. The center is open to the public during business hours.
Since its foundation, the GGB has held two weekly meetings, every Wednesday and Friday, from 8 to 10 p.m. These meetings are coordinated by the group’s Board of Directors and are dedicated to the discussion of topics of interest to the gay community. Between 100 and 200 people visit the GGB’s center every week, making the number of visitors during the group's 32 years of existence exceed 40,000. The following subgroups form part of the GGB: the Quimbanda-Dudu Group of Black Gays of Bahia; the Gay Stamp Association of Brazil; the Brazilian Association of Parents and Friends of Homosexuals; the Center for Homosexual Studies.