Merida, Yucatan — Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin closed out the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates with a performance that echoed the week’s message of equality and human rights.
With the Monument a la Patria in the background, Martin entertained thousands, starting with “Maria” and ending 90 minutes later with “La Mordidita.”
Just as he did when he received a World Peace Prize of his own hours before in the International Convention Center, Martin gave a shout-out for marriage equality.
“As a member of the LGBT community we do not ask for more rights than the rest of the citizens, nor less,” Martin told his fans. “We simply want equality; it’s very simple.”
The singer and activist underscored what straight ally Diego Luna told an audience at the opening of the conference: that marriage equality should be available to everyone. Luna criticized Yucatan’s lawmakers for repeatedly blocking measures that would allow gay and lesbian couples to marry without petitioning the court.
“Equality, respect and tolerance have to be part of our life; the right of every human being to live freely has to be respected,” said the pop star.
During the open-air Yucatan for Peace concert, signaling the conclusion of a meeting between 30 Nobel laureates, streets vibrated with applause for the singer. The crowd’s reaction grew stronger when he commented: “Race, origin, sexual orientation and beliefs must be respected by all the governments that govern us.”
Martin, 47, has a record of activism that traces back decades. In 2003, he was named UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for his defense of children’s rights. His foundation has collaborated with United Nations agency to promote the protection of children and end exploitation and abuse.