Gay Chile News & Reports 2011

1 2012 Census Questions Include Sexual Diversity 1/11

2 Lesbian judge in Chile fights for new US laws 4/11

3 Chilean president seeks ‘regulation and protection’ for gay couples 5/11

4 First Time a Chilean Deputy in Congress Defends Homophobia 6/11

4a The Pride of Santiago 7/11

5 Chilean President Agrees to Recognize Gay Couples in Civil Registry 7/11

6 Chilean March Against Gay Marriage Draws One Thousand 7/11

7 Chile leader proposes civil unions, including gays 8/11

8 Chile Introduces Constitutional Gay Marriage Ban Amendment 8/11

9 Court to Hear First-Ever LGBT Case to Determine Lesbian Mother Bias 8/11

10 Advocacy groups reject Chile’s latest AIDS prevention campaign 11/11

January 27, 2011 – Sentidog
Google Spanish to English translation

2012 Census Questions Include Sexual Diversity

Santiago – (The Citizen)
"Same-sex common law marriage?" Is the pilot asked the INE census test incorporated in 2012. Although not definitive inclusion of that question, Rolando Jimenez, president of Movilh, said that "this is a big step for sexual diversity."
The National Statistics Institute (INE), held in Valdivia (Region de Los Rios), a test of the 2012 census, where possible incorporated a pilot question about sexual diversity, indicating whether cohabitation is "same-sex partner" or "other than sex."

The Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (MOVILH), was one of the main promoters of this initiative. Therefore, the president of this organization Rolando Jimenez, as shown by the question and hopes that this pilot application to remain in the final of the 2012 census. "In 1992, we raised the need to incorporate questions that allow us to gather information relevant to specific public policy development. But now thanks to the 2012 census commission does, we raised this question about the sexual orientation of individuals, what we think is a breakthrough, "said Jimenez.

The draft survey implemented in the municipality of Santa Barbara in Valdivia, was intended to observe the process in the survey field in 2012. One of the questions that mention the "current marital status, the person must respond if it is" common law marriage to same-sex partner "or" opposite-sex common law marriage ", which for Rolando Jimenez, is an important recognition of diversity . "The State recognizes that there is a population that has specific characteristics and collected relevant information and estimates. But we want this to continue and is permanent and not just a draft, "added the president of Movilh.

Given the possible acceptance and implementation of this question in the 2012 census, the agency aims to encourage people to be interviewed when, not be intimidated and tell the truth about their sexual status. "We will conduct a media campaign and mass media, contributing to the strategy of INE, for people who live and are part of sexual diversity, say their status without fear of discrimination," said Jimenez.

This new standard, provide for the inclusion of gays, lesbians and bisexuals, but in relation to the incorporation of the transsexual population, MOVILH, said "we will continue with various steps for this group of people also be considered."

11 April 2011 – PinkNews

Lesbian judge in Chile fights for new US anti-discrimination laws

by Steve Brewer
A lesbian judge from Chile is calling for new anti-discrimination laws to be introduced across North and South America.
Karen Atala, 47, lost custody of her three daughters in 2004 because of her sexual orientation. She won custody of her children in two hearings, but they were overturned by the Supreme Court in 2006.

The Supreme Court ruled that the girls were in a “position of risk” and could become “objects of social discrimination”. Ms Atala is now taking her fight to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Washington. Her lawyer, Jorge Contesse, told the Metro: “She’s not litigating this case to regain custody of her daughters. But she knows the message that could be sent here, to the Chilean government and other countries, is significant and would be worth the struggle.”

30 May 2011 – PinkNews

Chilean president Sebastian Pinera seeks ‘regulation and protection’ for gay couples

by Christopher Brocklebank
President of Chile, Sebastian Pinera, said this weekend that he wants Congress to legalise de facto civil unions in an attempt to “regulate and protect” more than two million unmarried couples, including gay and lesbian couples.
But President Pinera stressed the proposal would not in any way make gay marriage legal in Chile. He said his belief that “marriage in its essence and nature is between a man and a woman” had not changed.

What the proposed bill will do is “protect and safeguard” the civil rights of couples who for whatever reason, remain unmarried, while at the same time “safeguarding the dignity of those couples, whether of the opposite or even the same sex,” he said to El Mercurio newspaper. The potential legalisation of domestic partnerships was one of Mr Pinera’s key campaign proposals. Inevitably, it roused debate and dissent within his conservative coalition.

The Catholic Church, which carries great power and influence in Chile, has said it will not recognise the “aberration” of gay marriage.

June 17, 2011 – Sentidog
Spanish to English translation

For the First Time a Chilean Deputy in Congress Defends Homophobia

For the first time in history the country a parliamentary deputy, Enrique Estay, must explain to Congress after a citizen complaint, specifically homophobia. It was filed with the Ethics Committee of the House by the gay organization called Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (MOVILH) .
The complaint claims Estay has not apologized or offered any excuses for treating homosexuals with words such as "fags, reversed and sodomites," and he insisted on validating the use of certain words to refer to sexual diversity. In its defense, claimed Estay for the right to freedom of speech and argued that the word fag is even used by several gay websites, where "they call themselves so."

On the field, MOVILH said "first we consider the historical value and for the first time an MP is accountable to Congress to denigrate people. No doubt a milestone which we live today sets a precedent and is a specific warning to any authority attempting to violate basic human rights like the dignity of people. " Movilh president, Rolando Jimenez, who appeared at the National Congress repudiated Estay particularly hard, "because" at no time told him or gave excuses about the treatment given to homosexual sodomy and invested. "

"Worse," Jimenez said, "this member only referred to the concept" queer, "which sought to validate because some gay websites use it. However, any use of the word is context. If some web sites do use this word in response to homophobia and Estay clearly used it as an offense to deny rights to sexual diversity and to argue that the debate on our reality should not be the concern of the authorities, which damages the dignity of people. Thus most, but the whole country. "

After presenting its defense, the deputy Estay cross avoided at all times with the leader of Movilh and literally "escaped" from Congress for an alternative solution, which according to Jimenez, "reveals the moral high ground in this parliament, a legitimate authority that even that the word queer is used in educational establishments, which is a breeding ground for bullying. " Estay After listening to the Ethics Commission, chaired by Rep. Marco Antonio Núñez, decided to issue a ruling on the complaint next week. "Here the Ethics Commission has two options. Validate that an authority refers to people as "queers, sodomites and invested" with the sole purpose of offending and argue inequality of rights, or state clearly that such as those described are not up to any person or authority because they violate rights basic human. "

After the appearance of the deputy president of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (MOVILH), Rolando Jiménez, criticized the senator has not made a mea culpa. "It’s a good sign that the Ethics Commission has cited for the first time in history, a deputy to explain his remarks in this case violated the dignity and fundamental human rights of a group of people (…) but has given no sign of regret, indeed, has placed other epithets offensive and discriminatory as sodomites, diverted, "he said.

Jimenez Estay rejected claims, around the word "queer" only well used by the Movilh. "He used the word in the campaign of Sernam: Faggot is that hits a woman. Depends on the context and value-laden. He used it in a context where it was raising that one should not discuss the recognition of rights to people who have a different sexual orientation."

July 08, 2011 – Revolver

The Pride of Santiago

by Jessica Caimi
As ever the place for Santiago’s mass public gatherings, a recent shiny Saturday saw Plaza Italia as the peace-and-love-filled venue for proud Chilenos celebrating diversity, progress and most importantly, acceptance. The jovial atmosphere, encouraged by the surprisingly hot winter sun, pulsed with dance music. Everyone from young children to drag queens showed support for the twenty-year old movement, which recognizes the differences in us all, but focuses on the similarities.

After the gathering in the Plaza, the whole group, estimated around 12,000 by La Tercera, sang, danced and marched down the Alameda to the finishing point in front of La Moneda. The Pride March, organized and sponsored by Movil, represented Santiago at its finest. One of the most powerful speakers was a man dressed, demurely for this event, in a sweater and khaki combo, who spoke on behalf of his family: a male partner and daughter. He clearly explained that the march did not simply celebrate homosexuals and their lifestyle, but represented “todos los Chilenos decir que NO a la discriminación! (all Chileans saying NO to discrimination!)”

The organizing group, Movil, which represents sexual diversity in Chile, celebrated 20 years of action with the march. Reminders of the work yet to be done pierced the exuberant mood. As Romy, 37, standing tall in platform shoes and fishnets explained, “The last 20 years have seen 4 different governments and still no change. We only want change,” referring to the campaign for approval of civil unions for same-sex couples in Chile. Joaquin, 27, also emphasized the importance of civil unions, but felt that the hard work comes in changing the mentality of the population at large, rather than adjusting one specific law. Joaquin works for GayFone, a popular phone service connecting gay Chileans looking for support and new friends via a dial-in number. The service, encouraged by support over the past few months, plans to expand to other Latin American countries shortly.

Indeed, many in the crowd echoed the desire for legal changes in Chile, but the problem runs deeper than simple legality. Eduardo, 24, in Santiago only for the momentous weekend, stated simply, “el gobierno no le importa cambiar (the government does not care to change).” He cited the reason as the country’s traditional, Catholic roots, a probable influence on many Chilenos today. But Eduardo has hope for the future. “This is just what Chile needs. All the people together, screaming.”

July 12, 2011 – La Tercera
Spanish to English translation

Chilean President Piñera Agrees to Recognize Gay Couples in Civil Registry
– ‘No Marriage Cohabitation Agreement’ is the tentative name of the formula of La Moneda to regulate unions.

by M.J. Pavez, A. Trujillo
Extending Recognition
It will be one of the central issues discussed at the meeting of the Political Commission, as every Monday, UDI has called for this afternoon at its headquarters in Sweden Street. The imminent submission to Congress of the project that seeks to regulate the currency de facto unions has forced the community to accelerate efforts to define who will take the official stance on the issue. The decision came after President Piñera notify the reserved-directive in a meeting with the board, held last Sunday at his residence, the initiative drafted by advisers to the second floor will be filed no later than the next week.

Both in his meeting with the party table and through conversations with other leaders of the store, and to forward the project contemplates UDI points that generate some qualms about unionism, but are part of the demands of groups advocating the rights of homosexual couples. According to a draft summary of the currency delivered in recent days representatives of the Alliance, which agreed the Third, this will allow unmarried couples, heterosexual and homosexual, to register with the Registrar if they meet some requirements, including a period of coexistence of more than one year. Although the agreement between the cohabitants must subscribe before a notary, as a way to avoid a ceremony that may resemble that of a civil marriage, the contract must be validated within 15 days, with an inscription to the Civil Registry .

In line also with the idea of differentiating the new institution of marriage, it would be called "non-marital cohabitation agreements" (ACNM), and "will not alter or marital status of the contractor or establish kinship by affinity relatives of the other. " Taking away the position of the UDI of limiting regulation to the economic aspects only, and similarly to the formula set out in its time by Andrew Allamand through the Agreement of Common Life (AVC), the project will send La Moneda also includes a recognition of the bonding of couples. According to the definition included in the preliminary text, the ACNM "is a contract that can hold two people of the same or different sex, for the purpose of regulating their relations derived from an affective life in common."

In addition to the required year of couples living together, which must be supported by affidavits, the ACNM establishes a number of other requirements and prohibitions. The main restriction is that the contract is signed between relatives by blood or marriage or who keep current ACNM. Similarly to what happens with divorce, the idea of the coin is that the term of ACNM (death of one party, marriage, or unilaterally by one party) guarantees rights to compensation from members of the couple.

Unrest in the UDI
Pending the final draft is submitted to Parliament, the UDI decided a couple of weeks to develop its own proposal. This is the "Pact of Reciprocal Agreement (PAR)," an initiative narrower than that of La Moneda, which seeks to better protect the identity of marriage.
This proposal was put forward by the community as part of the meeting held with President Piñera, last Sunday. Nevertheless, the President pointed out that recognition of de facto unions pledged during the campaign requires regulation as defined in the ACNM, so the decision to send in those terms to Congress is already taken. As a gesture, the President agreed, though, to wait for the political commission of the UDI now discuss the issue before submitting a formal initiative.

According to sources in the board of the UDI, it is likely that the community chooses to release his parliamentary action, especially considering that some, like Senator Andrew Chadwick and deputies Eluchans Ivan Moreira and Edmund, are Supporters of recognition in the Civil Registry. Parallel, and as a way to pave the way for the ACNM in Congress, deputies RN Joaquin Godoy Karla Rubilar and have held a series of meetings with parliamentarians from the coalition with groups like the Movilh to rally support for the project.

July 31, 2011 – On Top Magazine

Chilean March Against Gay Marriage Draws One Thousand

by On Top Magazine Staff
Roughly one thousand people took to the streets of Santiago, Chile on Saturday in support of the nation’s ban on gay marriage, the Spanish news agency EFE reported. The march, organized by the Christian conservative groups Transforma Chile and Muevete Chile, stepped off at Plaza Italia and ended at the Palacio de la Moneda.

“Today the Chilean constitution and the law defines marriage as a union between a man and woman, but this is daily threatened by the influence of the homosexual lobby that day by day take more force to lobby Parliament,” the coalition said on its website.

Chile President Sebastian Pinera campaigned on a promise to back a civil unions bill for gay couples. The country’s largest gay rights group, MOVILH, has called out the president for his unkept promise. Earlier this month, however, Pinera announced he was prepared to back a bill that would allow gay and straight couples who have lived together for more than one year to enter a legal contract called the Non-Marital Cohabitation Agreement.

The topic of legal recognition for gay couples has reverberated throughout Latin American since Argentina and the city-state of Mexico City legalized gay marriage last year.

August. 9, 2011 –

Chile leader proposes civil unions, including gays

by Eva Vergara – The Associated Press
Santiago, Chile — Chile’s conservative president proposed civil unions legislation Tuesday that would give unmarried partners many of the rights now enjoyed only by married couples in the South American nation. Gays and lesbians lauded Sebastian Pinera‘s signature on the proposal that he is sending to Congress as a big step toward equality. But the leaders of Pinera’s center-right coalition were so upset that they refused to attend the signing ceremony.

Chile only legalized divorce in 2004, which is one reason why about 2 million people live together without legal recognition in the socially conservative country. Pinera, who fulfilled a campaign promise with the civil union bill, insists the initiative doesn’t change the concept of marriage in conservative Chile, which only recognizes marriages between a man and a woman. But all couples "deserve respect, dignity and the support of state," he said in a speech at the presidential palace that was followed by prolonged applause.

If the bill is approved as written by both houses of congress, then couples who sign "agreements to life as a couple" before a notary or at the civil registry would be able to resolve legal problems with inheritances, social welfare issues and health care benefits. Leaders of the right-wing Independent Democratic Union and center-right National Renovation party are already uncomfortable with the project, and some lawmakers said they would try to change or stop the effort. Chile’s influential Roman Catholic Church also is opposed. Gay rights activists are hopeful it will become law.

"There is a majority in congress that believes that couples of the same sex have the same right to be happy as the rest of the couples in our country," said Pablo Simonetti, president of the Equality Foundation.

Rolando Jimenez, leader of the Homosexual Liberation and Integration Movement, still wants gay marriage, but said Pinera’s proposal is a good first step. Argentina went a step further last year, becoming the first country in Latin America to recognize marriages between couples of the same sex. Brazil’s supreme court ruled in May that homosexual couples deserve the same rights as heterosexuals. Ecuador, Uruguay and Colombia also have some version of civil union laws.

August 11, 2011 – On Top Magazine

Chile Introduces Constitutional Gay Marriage Ban Amendment

by By On Top Magazine Staff
Members of Chile’s Independent Democrat Union (Union Democrata Independiente) on Thursday will introduce a constitutional amendment that seeks to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman, La Tercera reported. The move comes 2 days after President Sebastian Pinera sent to Congress a bill that would grant gay and lesbian couples many of the rights and benefits of marriage. The Life Partner Agreement (Acuerdo de Vida en Pareja or AVP) would allow gay and straight couples who have lived together for more than one year to enter the union.

The president signed his bill to the cheers of gay rights activists, but angry leaders of his center-right coalition, which includes the UDI Party, refused to attend the signing ceremony. Pinera, who is fulfilling a campaign promise to back a civil unions bill, told daily El Mercurio last month that his bill seeks to “protect and safeguard” the civil rights of couples living outside of marriage and “safeguard the dignity of those couples, whether of opposite sex or even the same sex.”

The amendment would add to the Chile Constitution language that bans 2 people of the same sex from marrying by inserting “in guaranteeing and protecting the family, only one man and one woman have the right to marry” into the document. Supporters insist the amendment is necessary to soothe the fears of conservatives who view the AVP as a prelude to the legalization of gay marriage in Chile.

August 24, 2011 – International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission

Inter-American Court to Hear First-Ever LGBT Case to Determine Lesbian Mother Bias in Custody Dispute

Today, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights heard the case of Karen Atala Riffo, a judge and lesbian mother who was stripped of custody of her two daughters by the Supreme Court of Chile in 2003. The Court hearing was held in Bogotá, Colombia. Atala, who won in lower court decisions, lost custody of her children when the High Court ruled that she was an unfit mother on the basis of her sexual orientation. Atala sought justice through the Inter-American Human Rights System, which redresses human rights violations committed by states.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights subsequently reviewed the case and in early 2011 issued a decision in Atala’s favor. The case was heard by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which will issue a legally binding decision with which the government of Chile has agreed to abide. This case is the first time the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has ever heard a case specifically regarding sexual orientation or gender identity. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), the International Women’s Human Rights Law Clinic at the City University of New York (CUNY), MADRE, the law firm Morrison & Foerster and others, monitored the Inter-American Court session and will submit an amicus curae brief demonstrating the growing trend in customary international law that discrimination based on sexual orientation violates protected human rights.

“What happened to Karen Atala represents discrimination of the crudest sort. For no reason other than her sexuality, a court separated a mother from her children. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights now has an opportunity to render a decision that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is wrong.” Such a verdict will send a message to every state party to the American Convention on Human Rights — from the village court all the way to national supreme courts — that sexual orientation has no bearing on a parent’s ability to raise healthy children,” said Jessica Stern, Director of Programs for IGLHRC.

“Ignoring the growing international trend against discrimination based on sexual orientation, the highest court of Chile has institutionalized discrimination in this case, with the denial of Atala’s parental rights. Perversely, Atala is recognized as fit to uphold the highest principles of justice as a judge, and yet the Supreme Court found that she is not fit to carry out the duties of a mother. Indeed, Chile makes no attempt to deny that its action was on the basis of Ms. Atala’s sexual orientation,” said Lisa Davis, Adj. Professor of Law for the IWHR Clinic at CUNY Law School.

15 November 2011 – The Santiago Times

Advocacy groups reject Chile’s latest AIDS prevention campaign

by Juan Francisco Veloso Olguin
Campaign criticized for focusing on testing and ignoring prevention and sexuality issues.
Activist groups this week strongly criticized the Chilean health ministry’s newest HIV/AIDS prevention campaign, condemning it as yet another off-target attempt to take on HIV/AIDS without addressing real prevention techniques or the key audience — gay and bisexual men.sidaThe campaign features six public figures in Chile. The campaign will cost US$826,000 for four months of TV, radio and print ads, all aimed at preventing the disease’s spread among Chileans. Local organizations battling HIV/AIDS protested the campaign’s nearly-exclusive “get tested” focus during a national campaign launch led Monday by Health Minister Jaime Mañalich and National Youth Institute Director Luis Felipe San Martín.

Throwing condoms into the air, the groups expressed their anger that the campaign fails to focus on condoms as a key tool to prevent the spread of the disease. Testing, they said, will not prevent the AIDS virus from spreading. Fernando Muñoz, political coordinator for the Chilean movement for sexual diversity (MUMS), said the campaign “does not teach or promote self-care techniques” related to condum use and fails to promote “a change in attitude to avoid the risk of acquiring of the illness.” Marcos Becerra, the director of the Chilean Corporation for AIDS Prevention, also lamented that condoms are not a part of the Chilean public health system, El Mercurio reported.

The critics also insist the campaign does not focus on the group of people most affected by HIV/AIDS: gay or bisexual men. Health ministry data show that 70 percent of all Chileans affected by the illness are gay or bisexual men. “Homophobia is behind all this,” Muñoz said. “The campaign avoids talking about sexual orientation,” “negating the clear presence of sexual diversity in this process.”

Another controversial part of the campaign is the introduction of a compulsory HIV test for all pregnant women. Mañalich said the government aims to assure that “every child born in Chile from 2013 is free of AIDS” and called for the turnaround for HIV test results to be reduced from 45 days to 15 days. But Muñoz insisted that the new measure “denies (women) the right of autonomy and to make decisions over their own bodies.” He also said the rate of HIV transmission through an HIV-positive mother is low — in Muñoz’s words, almost nonexistent — and the strong emphasis on pregnant women is illogical.

Muñoz insisted that the focus of the campaign must be changed and real steps must be taken to tackle the HIV issue, including sexual education for young people and making condoms more easily accessible for people of all sexual persuasions.