April 2, 2014 | by Michael K. Lavers
Chilean Senate makes trans bill a priority

National Congress of Chile, gay news, Washington Blade

National Congress of Chile (Photo by the Photographic Collection of the Library of the National Congress of Chile; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

The Chilean Senate on Tuesday moved to make a bill that would allow transgender people to legally change their name and sex without sex reassignment surgery a top priority.

The Organization of Transsexuals for the Dignity of Diversity said senators must release a draft of the measure within 15 days. It will then go before the lower house of the Chilean Congress if there are no objections.

“We celebrate this positive signal and a substantive advance, given the need for the recognition and legal coverage for gender identity,” said the group. “It marks a very important development in the recognition of legitimate rights.”

The Chilean Senate in January approved the measure by a 29-0 vote margin.

President Michelle Bachelet, who took office last month, included the trans rights bill in her campaign platform.

“The government is looking to quickly fill legal loopholes and conform to international agreements that will make Chile a more respectful country in regards of the rights of all people,” said the Organization of Transsexuals for the Dignity of Diversity. “[Chile will become a more] open and inclusive [country] that allows the full integration of a broad community of trans people and their families into society.”

Lawmakers in the South American country advanced the trans rights bill hours before an 8.2-magnitude earthquake struck off the northern Chilean coast.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

1 Comment
  • I’m curious as to what is behind the Blade’s recent obsession with South America news, while ignoring much of what’s happening in the U.S.

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