With a festive march full of multicolored flags, the LGTBI community of Chile celebrated this Saturday the Pride day, which coincides with the end of the discussion of a bill that would legalize equal marriage, a historic demand of homosexuals in the country.
About a thousand people marched from downtown Plaza Italia of Santiago to the seat of Government, the Palacio de la Moneda, to demand that the parliamentary discussion of the law be hurried and, at the same time, celebrate that they are closer than ever to being able to get married.
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“Today we meet again at a key moment, the processing of equal marriage is about to become law”, celebrated Óscar Rementería, spokesman for the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (Movilh), the platform that called the demonstration.
The project, which only needs to see a green light in the Lower House, would allow calling “marriage” to unions between people of the same sex and would also enable adoption and filiation, until now not allowed for homosexual couples.
“I want to be sure that later on I will be able to marry my girlfriend (girlfriend) and that we will be able to start a family. It is a right that cannot wait ”, Bárbara Enríquez, a 22-year-old girl, told Efe.
If the initiative is approved, something that is expected to happen in 2021, Chile would join Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, Ecuador, Costa Rica and several Mexican states.
WITH AN EYE ON THE ELECTIONS
Another hot topic was the presidential elections on November 21, in which, according to the main polls, the leftist Gabriel Boric and José Antonio Kast, an ultra-conservative who is against gay marriage, would come to the ballot.
“There is a candidate who is homophobic. That is the real threat to democracy. Go vote to respect our rights “, wielded Gaspar Domínguez, one of the 155 people who draft the new Magna Carta.
The constituent process was opened more than a year ago as a political way to ease the “Social outbreak”, a massive wave of anti-equality protests that began in October 2019 and lasted for more than a year.
“Since then, there is no going back. Chile woke up and we realized that the majority of us want equality, that we all be respected: gays, lesbians, indigenous people, trans women ”, protester Julio Rojas pointed out to Efe.
The march, which lasted during the afternoon without incident and with hardly any police presence, is the first major meeting LGBTI since the arrival of the pandemic and was postponed from June to November due to a strong outbreak of COVID-19.
THE LONG ROAD OF EQUAL MARRIAGE
The equal marriage project, which was introduced in 2017 during the second term of former Socialist President Michelle Bachelet (2014-2018), remained stagnant for more than four years.
In January 2020, the Senate decided to approve the idea of legislating it and in a surprising turn of events, last July, the president – the conservative Sebastian Piñera– said in his last accountability before leaving office (in March 2022), that “the time had come” to approve this project.
Despite the fact that this announcement fell like a jug of cold water among the most conservative parties of the governing coalition, the president instructed Parliament to discuss it as a matter of course. “urgency” and since then it has progressed to its last process, which is expected to take place before the end of the year.
According to a recent Ipsos poll, 65% of Chileans believe gay marriage should be allowed, which places Chile as the second most supported Latin American country, only behind Argentina (73%).
“Equal marriage is a cross-cutting demand that calls for the support of the majority and that dignifies us as a country”, Isabel Amor, director of the Iguales foundation, one of the most active LGTBI platforms in the country, told Efe.
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