In October of 2016, Other Sheep board members officially recognized Bismarck Antonio Moraga Peña as the Other Sheep Coordinator for Nicaragua (click here for photos of Bismarck with Other Sheep in Nicaragua in August of 2016). Bismarck, an openly gay man, is eminently qualified to serve in this capacity. His accomplishments as a pro-LGBT activists are many.
BRONX, NY. by Rev. STEPHEN PARELLI. FEBRUARY 15, 2017
Bismarck serves as the president of the Nicaragua New Horizons Association (ANH). ANH was legally constituted in 2012 and is based in Managua, Nicaragua. Bismarck, as co-founder of the New Horizons Association in 2012, serves as a volunteer. All members and staff are volunteers. New Horizons Association works to support other organizations in their mission to strengthen and empower human rights and to foster Christian reflections.
In 2006, Bismarck founded the Initiative on Sexual Diversity for Human Rights (IDSDH). He served as its president from 2006-2012. Under his leadership, IDSDH came to be recognized, nationally and internationally, as a significant organization for sexual diversity.
In 2008, three organizations (IDSDH, SAFO and ANIT) came together to form an alliance called Strategic Group for the Defense of Human Rights (GEDDH) of which Bismarck was the coordinator. This alliance conducted a study entitled “A Look at Sexual Diversity in Nicaragua” for which Bismarck coordinated the research.
In 2009, Bismarck, working with religious leaders of different denominations, conducted a study on pastors for the inclusion of sexual diversity in Nicaragua. In October of the same year, Bismarck chaired an official government commission, which included Human Rights Attorney Omar Cabeza, out of which came the appointment of the first special prosecutor for sexual diversity. This was considered a global milestone since it was believed to be, at the time, the first position of its kind ever in the world.
Subsequently, two years later, Salvador and Guatemala created government offices on sexual diversity.
It was around this time that Bismarck also began to conduct workshops for young people for the purpose of reflecting on Biblical texts. In addition, he provided counseling to young people who suffered violence at the hands of their family because of their sexual identity. Some of these victimized young people came from the homes of pastors, or were victimized by their pastor. From 2009-2011, groups of faith communities were formed among the members of the GEDDS member organizations in which God’s love (agape) was the focus.
In 2011, Bismarck gave his support to the strengthening of different incipient organizations. In addition, he advised the research project on a “Perception Survey on the Level of Acceptance of Lesbian and Transgender Relatives in Managua 2012.”
From 2013-2016, Bismarck’s interest in religion and human rights for LGBT people were evident as he resumed worked for the spirituality of LGBT people, coordinating with Lutherans and other religious groups.
In August of 2016, as a liaison for Other Sheep, Bismarck organized two meetings during the visit of Rev. Stephen Parelli and Jose Ortiz to Nicaragua. The first meeting was with LGBT leaders, held in Managua, in which meeting the book “The Children Are Free” (in Spanish “God Has Made Us Free”) was presented. Bismarck first introduced the book “The Children Are Free” to Nicaragua in 2013 after having received copies of the book from Rev. Stephen Parelli at an LGBT conference in Peru, the 5th Convention of the International Association of Sexually Diversified Families meeting in Lima, June 25 – June 30. Bismarck notes “the book has been received by, and inspired, many transgender, gay and lesbian Christians to be able to reconcile their faith with their sexual and gender identity.” The second meeting, also to discuss the book “The Children Are Free,” was with faculty and students of Martin Luther King Nicaraguan Evangelical University, Managua. The meeting was conducted on the campus of the university.
This blog was published to the Internet on February 15, 2017, from the Bronx, New York. It was written today, February 15, 2017, and on a date last week, in the Bronx, New York.
Photo at right: Books ready for distribution at the Other Sheep meeting with faculty and students at the Martin Luther King Nicaraguan Evangelical University, Managua, August 15, 2016. Bismarck arranged for the meeting.