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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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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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Chile: New President to Make Civil Unions a Priority

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Chile FlagNow that she has been sworn into office, Chile’s new President is pushing to get civil unions legislation passed.

The Santiago Times reports:

President Michelle Bachelet shed new light on her legislative priorities Monday, labeling the same-sex civil union legislation sitting before Congress as “urgent,” while a deadline for the submission of the new administration’s crucial tax reform bill is set for the end of the month. By categorizing the Life Partner Agreement (AVP) as “suma urgencia” — the second highest level of urgency the president can give to legislation — Bachelet is forcing Congress to discuss the bill within the next 30 days. “We want to send a signal of our commitment to end all forms of discrimination,” government spokesman Alvaro Elizalde said Monday. The AVP bill that would legalize civil unions between same-sex couples originated in the Senate in 2011.

That’s a great step, but why not full marriage equality?

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Chile: The Next Country to Legalize Marriage Equality?

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Chile FlagWith the election of pro-gay President Michelle Bachelet, many think so.

Gay Star News reports:

Chile’s new president is expected to fight for same-sex marriage. Michelle Bachelet, who officially took office yesterday (11 March), is expected to boost efforts for the LGBTI community. The socialist leader was inaugurated in a ceremony in the city of Valparaiso after her election win in December over conservative rival Evelyn Matthei. She won 62% of the vote, and is the first Chilean president in over half a century to return for a second term. She originally served from 2006 to 2010.

South America, like much of the rest of the world, is rapidly evolving on marriage equality. It makes the laggards, like Australia and Northern Ireland (and Ireland), as well as most of Africa, look absolutely backwards.

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Chile: Senate Advances Transgender Rights Bill

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Chile FlagA bill to add rights for Chile’s transgender citizens passed through the Senate on a 29-0 vote.

The Washington Blade reports:

A bill that would allow transgender Chileans to legally change their name and sex without sex reassignment surgery advanced in the country’s Senate on Tuesday. Lawmakers in the South American nation by a 29-0 vote margin approved the measure that would also allow trans Chileans to legally change their name and sex without hormonal treatments and psychiatric or psychological evaluations. Three lawmakers abstained. “Our lawmakers have recognized our dignity,” Andres Ignacio Duarte Rivera, founder of the Organization of Transsexuals for the Dignity of Diversity, a Chilean trans advocacy group, told the Washington Blade after the vote.

It’s great to see transgender rights advancing in a number of places around the world.

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Chile: Civil Unions Bill Advances

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Chile FlagA bill that would allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions is advancing in Chile.

The Washington Blade reports:

A bill that would allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions in Chile advanced in the country’s Senate on Tuesday. The 28-6 vote to move the proposal out of committee took place more than six hours after lawmakers began to debate it. “We have been given an opportunity to go one step further towards no discrimination,” said Sen. Maria Isabel Allende. “It is important to take steps that allow partners to gain access to rights they are now denied.”

The move comes after thousands marched for marriage equality earlier in the year.It’s not marriage, but it is a step.

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Chile: Candidate for President Reiterates Marriage Equality Support

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Chile FlagChilean presidential candidate Michelle Bachelet reiterated her support for marriage equality yesterday. On Top Magazine reports:

The 62-year-old Bachelet is seeking a second term in office after returning to Chile following two years in New York, where she headed the United Nation’s women’s agency. “I have publicly stated that I am in favor of marriage equality,” said Bachelet after meeting with representatives of several LGBT groups. “A law is not enough. Essential yet insufficient,” she added, a reference to a proposed gay-inclusive anti-discrimination bill.

If she is elected, Chile could join Argentina, Uruguay, and possibly Colombia as the fourth South American country to embrace marriage equality.

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Chile: Thousands March for Marriage Equality

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Chile FlagThey marched for marriage equality (and gay pride) down in Chile this weekend. On Top Magazine reports:

Thousands of people on Saturday marched in Chile’s 13th annual Gay Pride parade. Roughly 10,000 people – 40,000 according to organizers – braved the threat of rain to take to the streets of Santiago, Chile’s capital. The marchers carried a giant rainbow flag as they wound their way through the city to the Paseo Bulnes, where a cultural event was held.

In the last poll we have (August 2012), almost 55% in Chile support marriage equality.

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Chile: Lesbian Couple Married By Belgian Mayor Via Google Hangout

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Chile FlagOk, this is getting crazy. First, we have a French gay couple marrying in Brazil via a French Embassy. Now here’s a lesbian couple married in Belgium via Google. ABC News reports:

Last Sunday in Chile, a country where same-sex marriage is illegal, two women were wed by a Belgian mayor via Google Hangouts. Claudia Amigo and Claudia Calderon, a long-time couple, tied the knot in Santiago in a ceremony officiated through a live webcam by Eric Lomba, the mayor of Marchin, Belgium, one of the world’s 14 nations that accepts same-sex marriage. The wedding, organized by the French NGO Tous Unis Pour L’Egalite, is largely symbolic, and it does not change the couple’s legal status in Chile. Nevertheless, it represented a milestone for Amigo and Calderon.

What’s next? A same sex couple living in Antarctica married via twitter by a New Zealand minister living in Washington state?

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Chile: 50K Attend LGBT Rights March

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Chile FlagA march for LGBT rights this weekend drew a huge crowd in Santiago over the weekend. The Washington Blade reports:

An LGBT rights march in the Chilean capital on Saturday drew more than 50,000 people. Chilean folk singer Camila Moreno; presidential candidates Andres Velasco, Tomas Jocelyn-Holt, Marco Enriquez-Ominami and Marcel Claude and Rafael Dochao, the European Union’s ambassador to Chile, took part in the Santiago event that also commemorated the International Day Against Homophobia. Former President Michelle Bachelet, who is also a candidate to succeed President Sebastian Pinera in this November’s presidential elections, endorsed the march in a letter.

Chile may soon consider a civil unions bill.