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50,000 Chileans March for LGBT Rights

Saturday 23 May 2015

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Chilean President Michelle Bachelet signed a bill into law recognising civil unions between same-sex couples on April 13. Another piece of legislation on gay marriage is currently debated between representatives of the LGBT movement and various ministers.

More than 50,000 people joined the annual March for Equality in the capital of Chile on Saturday May 16. The march, organised by by the Movement of Integration and Sexual Liberation (Movilh) and the Movement for Sexual Diversity (Mums), ended at the presidential palace of La Moneda, with speeches from various activists and political leaders.

The LGBT movement in Chile has made great advances in recent years, they now are protected by anti-discrimination laws covering employment, gay people also can serve openly in the Army, gay men are allowed to donate blood and lesbian couples can have access to in-vitro fertilisation treatments. However speakers raised ongoing discrimination. “The main problems that affect trans people are ignorance and prejudice”, said Paula Dinamarca an activist with Movilh to EFE press agency. Others raised what they believe is indifference of the Ministry of Education regarding discrimination of gay and lesbian children at school.

The demonstrators urged the government to implement the Gender Identity Bill, currently being debated in the Senate. They also recalled the murders of five people in 2014 because of their sexual orientation with a short ceremony during the march.