Costa Rica News – Quepos and Manuel Antonio beaches are the area of Costa Rica most visited by the gay community, of locals and tourists alike. Employers in the area organized a peaceful march on Sunday against a man who is accused of assaulting the rights of homosexuals in the area.
The town’s Chamber of Tourism Manuel Antonio has received seven complaints from foreign gays against the man, Gutierrez, who rents surfboards in Playitas. The claims say that he has attacked them verbally and physically. One of the chamber’s directors, Boris Marchegiani, said, “It is unacceptable that a man who works on the beach assaults homosexuals. They are afraid because they have been threatened not to come back to the sea. I’ll put a legal and criminal complaint against the man who is driving foreigners away.”
These beaches are visited throughout the year. According to the tourism board, two out of ten visitors are gay. Juan Carlos Monge, a local, once visited the beach and put a flag with the gay colors up. Minutes later, Gutierrez approached Monge and his friends, with a shovel in hand, and threatened them, forbidding them to visit the beach. “He has threatened to beat us if we approach,” Monge said.
Gutierrez said that his desire is that children do not grow up with the idea that being gay is normal. He denied that he has made threats with a shovel. The local employers say that this man’s attitude negatively affects the town’s businesses. A manager of the bar Mogambo, Rafael Fallas, said sales have been declining for weeks, “since some customers have stopped coming because they are afraid to approach the area. Manuel Antonio is very appreciated by gays. This scare is not fair. This man must respect the preferences of others.”