June 28, 2023 #ChileDiverse

International Pride Day: Advances in the rights of the LGBTIQA+ community in the last 10 years in Chile

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The Antidiscrimination, Gender Identity and Equal Marriage Laws are some of the legislations that have allowed progress in the civil rights of sexual and gender diversity.

It has been 54 years since June 28, 1969, the morning of the first protest for the rights of the LGBTIQA+ community at the Stonewall Bar in New York's Greenwich Village. Since that day, June 28 has become a milestone that is commemorated worldwide every year as International Pride Day.

In Chile, the first organization for this commemoration took place in 1999, under the name "March for Non-Discrimination", in Santiago. In the following years it spread throughout the country, generating greater pressure and urgency in the absence of policies and measures to guarantee the rights of the LGBTIQA+ community.

What have been the advances in rights acquired by the struggle of the LGBTQIA+ movement in Chile in the last decade?

  • In 2012 the Antidiscrimination Law or Zamudio Law (20.609), in memory of the murdered young gay man, which details what is understood by arbitrary discrimination and the judicial procedure governing arbitrary discriminatory acts affecting individuals. It establishes more than 15 categories that may be considered as discriminatory.
  • In 2015 the Civil Union Lawwhich can be entered into by couples of any sexual orientation and confers their partners the civil status of "civil partner". The Civil Union Agreement recognizes civil partners as a family, with the purpose of regulating the legal effects derived from their affective life in common, and they may have the right of access to health, welfare, inheritance and other social benefits. This was the first legal norm that granted express recognition to same-sex couples in Chilean law.
  • A year later, an amendment to the Labor Law 20.94 was approved. Labor Law 20.940, which modernizes the Labor Relations System and includes sexual orientation and gender identity as categories protected from discrimination in the workplace.
  • Gender Identity Law (21.120), which establishes the right of any person whose gender identity does not coincide with his or her registered sex and name, to request its rectification. It also defines gender identity as the "personal and internal conviction of being a man or a woman, as the person perceives himself or herself, which may or may not correspond to the sex and name verified in the birth registration certificate".
  • After decades of struggle, December 10, 2021 became an historic day for human rights with the publication of the Equal Marriage Law.

The Law also guarantees non-discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, among other categories, for purposes of child custody, filiation and adoption, whether or not couples are married and whether or not they have had their children through assisted human fertilization. 

With the publication of this law, Chile joined the 25 nations that allow same-sex marriage in the world, and became the sixth country in Latin America to legalize it.

As of December 2022, one year after the publication of the Law, a total of 2,254 same-sex couples were married and 473 people were registered as sons or daughters of gay or lesbian unions.

  • In 2022, the Tamara Tamara Law was published in 2022, completing the "repeal of what was considered the last homophobic law" in the country. The law included the repeal of 365 of the Penal Code, a legal precept that was in force in Chile that established sanctions for those over 18 years of age who have sexual relations with persons under 18, but over 14. It was a "homophobic" law according to Movilh, since it applied only to heterosexual persons.

In addition to this list, there are indications to some already existing laws that incorporate sexual orientation as a reason for non-discrimination and guarantee equal conditions for LGBTIQA+ people in the face of certain facts. In line with the legal changes that have been achieved, Chile also created in 2022 the National Diversity Daywhich is celebrated on November 16.



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