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South America LGBT rights and marriage equality

 

Chile: House Passes Civil Unions Bill

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Chile FlagThe bill had previously been passed by the Senate on a 28-6 vote in a slightly different version.

The Washington Blade reports:

The Chilean House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a bill that would allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions. La Tercera, a Chilean newspaper, reported the measure passed by an 86-23 vote margin with two abstentions. “People of the same-sex will have the opportunity to demonstrate that they have the right to be happy,” said gay Congressman Claudio Arriagada Macaya after the vote, according to La Tercera.

Rolando Jimenez, president of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, a Chilean LGBT advocacy group, also praised the vote. “We dedicate this day, this moment, to the gay and lesbian families that have suffered a historic burden of misunderstanding and prejudices,” he said in a statement. “Today it will be the state’s turn to strengthen them and protect them on equal terms.”

Some opponents cried foul, claiming God had sparked a forest fire last year in protest.

President Michelle Bachelet says she will sign the bill when it reaches her desk.

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After Transgender Girl Fined By School, Boys Wear Skirts in Protest

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Brazil Protest

My favorite story of the week:

Nine days after transgender student Maria Muniz was fined by school officials for wearing a skirt, a group of her Colegio Pedro II classmates decided to stage a protest: both male and female students would all wear skirts on the same day. Soon after their demonstration an ecstatic Muniz learned that the school’s decision was overturned, reports the UK’s Orange News. Pedro II’s principal told Brazil’s Globo that the school will consider relaxing their dress code. After the protest, school officials posted a picture of their male and female students wearing wearing skirts to social media, where it became widely shared. Supporters have been writing their support to Muniz using the hashtag #VouDeSaia.

I mean, how cool is that?

Authored By Mitch Kellaway – See the Full Story at The Advocate

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Colombia Marriage Equality Supported by President

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

Colombia google maps

from Google Maps

The president of Colombia has just come out in favor of Colombia marriage equality.

Queerty reports:

Colombian marriage equality could now be on the fast track, as Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has officially come out in support of same-sex marriage in a Google Hangout, held this week as part of his reelection campaign. BuzzFeed translates: “Marriage between homosexuals seems to me perfectly acceptable, and what’s more I defend unions between two people of the same sex with the same rights and all the same privileges that this union should have. Whether this union is called marriage or not for me is secondary — for me, what is important is that they have their rights.”

His opponents both support full marriage equality.

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Peru Civil Unions Sponsor Comes Out

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Peruvian Congressman Carlos Bruce

Photo courtesy of the Congreso de la República del Peru

The sponsor of the Peru civil unions bill is gay.

The Washington Blade reports:

The primary sponsor of a bill that would allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions in Peru has come out as gay. “Yes, I am gay and I am proud to belong to this group of people who are so valuable to Peru,” said Congressman Carlos Bruce during an interview the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio published on Sunday. Bruce — a member of the centrist Possible Peru Alliance who represents Lima, the Peruvian capital — told the newspaper his two sons support his decision to come out. The congressman also reiterated his criticisms of Lima Archbishop Juan Luis Cipriani who opposes the civil unions bill.

Politically, do you think it’s more valuable for the sponsor of gay rights legislation to be gay, or to be a straight ally?

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Transgender Rights Update 4/29/14

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Transgender FlagWe have a few new stories for you this morning on the transgender rights front.

Brazil: Huffington Post Live put together a great video of what it’s like to be gay or transgender in Brazil. full story

USA: A new book, entitled “Queerly Beloved”, discusses what happens when a woman comes out to her female partner as transgender. full story

USA: The Pentagon released its new declaration of goals for human rights, but omitted any reference to transgender citizens. full story

USA: In a related story, the Washington Post reports that the military continues to dismiss transgender servicemembers. full story

USA, NJ: Two transgender citizens have filed lawsuits against state police departments alleging discrimination because of their gender identity. full story

This is Why We Need Marriage Equality

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

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Richard and Roberto were partners for 3 years. They were deeply in love. One day Richard complained about a pain in his neck and was hospitalised a short time later.

Roberto said: ‘They banned me from seeing him. They said I didn’t count as family. I was able to sneak into his room for only two minutes. Enough time to hold his hand and tell him that I loved him. He died the next day. I wasn’t allowed to be there.

‘This happened because we were a gay couple in Peru and there’s no law to protect us. But, next Tuesday there’s a vote to decide whether families like mine can be protected with civil unions.’

ee the Full Story at the Gay UK

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Peru: Poll Says 61% Oppose Civil Unions

Monday, April 21st, 2014

titleIn an ironic twist, a majority opposes a civil unions bill, while majorities or near-majorities support almost everything it would do.

On Top Magazine reports:

According to Lima daily El Comercio, only 33 percent of Peruvians support civil unions, while 61 percent remain opposed. The paper found near majority support for the rights outlined in the bill, including the right of partners to make critical health care decisions (52%), inherit property and assets (49%), and access a partner’s pension (52%). Fifty-four percent also support the right to access a partner’s health insurance. A large majority (58%) of Peruvians do not believe such rights should be put to a vote of the people.

It reminds me of the Affordable Care Act, which has less than 50% support here in the US, while most of its provisions enjoy strong support. Are Peruvians so blinded by homophobia that they can’t see the forest for the trees?

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Peru: Thousands March in Support of Civil Unions Bill

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Peru – Google Maps

From Google Maps

A large rally wound its way through the streets of Lima this weekend to support a proposed civil unions bill.

On Top Magazine reports:

Roughly 3,000 people on Saturday rallied in support of a proposed civil unions bill in Peru. Among those marching through the streets of Lima was the bill’s sponsor, Congressman Carlos Bruce. “This march is part of human diversity and our constitution allows this diversity to exist,” Bruce is quoted as saying by La Republica. “Now, what happens is that the law does not allow two people of the same sex to join with all the protection of the state.”

Another South American state considers relationship recognition for its LGBT citizens. It’s not marriage equality, but it’s a step.

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Chile: Transgender Bill a Top Priority

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Chile FlagThe Senate in Chile is moving ahead on a transgender rights bill.

The Washington Blade reports:

The Chilean Senate on Tuesday moved to make a bill that would allow transgender people to legally change their name and sex without sex reassignment surgery a top priority. The Organization of Transsexuals for the Dignity of Diversity said senators must release a draft of the measure within 15 days. It will then go before the lower house of the Chilean Congress if there are no objections.

The transgender rights movement seems to be following a similar trajectory as the marriage equality movement. It’s great to see our trans brothers and sisters gaining recognition, even though it can never happen quickly enough.

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Peru: Official Recommends Approval of Civil Unions Measure

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Peru – Google Maps

From Google Maps

Public Defender Eduardo Vega Luna recommended passage of a civil unions bill to protect the rights of gay and lesbian couples.

The Washington Blade reports:

A Peruvian official last week recommended lawmakers in the South American country approve a bill that would allow gays and lesbians to enter into civil unions. Public Defender Eduardo Vega Luna told Congressman Juan Carlos Eguren Neuenschwander, president of the Commission of Justice and Human Rights in the Peruvian Congress, in a March 26 letter that legislators should approve the measure. Vega also told Eguren that lawmakers should also support other efforts that would extend rights to LGBT Peruvians.

It’s amazing that in 2014, there are still so many places where same sex couples have absolutely no rights.

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