Chileans March to Support President’s Civil Unions Bill

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Over the weekend, more than 50,000 gay Chileans marched through the capital city of Santiago during an event to commemorate International Day Against Homophobia, according to the Washington Blade.

The march also took place at the same time as a debate of the proposed bill by Chilean President Sebastián Piñera that would extend civil unions to same-sex couples.

Rolando Jiménez, president of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, said that the government and the National Congress should pay attention to the demonstrations and the wants of the people, citing that a majority of Chileans equal rights for the LGBT community.

“The political class always says that it has to listen to the people, but enough of this,” Jiménez said according to the Blade. “It is time to act.”

Last July, Piñera signed an LGBT-inclusive hate crimes and anti-discrimination bill into law in response to outrage over the murder of Daniel Zamudio. Zamudio was a gay man that was beaten to death by a group of self-described neo-Nazis in March of last year.

Not only did march attendees want to encourage the passing of Piñera’s proposed bill, they also demanded that lawmakers pass a law that would allow transgender people to legally change their names without needing to obtain permission from a court.

Piñera’s bill has yet to be formally introduced.