The bill the Senate’s Human Rights Commission approved last month would allow trans Chileans over the age of 18 and those who have permanent residency in the country to legally change their name and gender at a Civil Registry office. It is part of a broader measure that would allow people to legally change their name and gender in the South American country without undergoing sex-reassignment surgery.
“This is a fundamental step forward,” said Luis Larrain, executive director of Fundación Iguales, a Chilean LGBT advocacy group, in a statement.
The Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, another Chilean advocacy group that is known by the Spanish acronym MOVILH, said the commission dispatched the bill three years after it first went before it.
“It was three long, excessive and unjustified years of discussion in this commission that had literally kidnapped this bill,” said MOVILH spokesperson Paula Dinamarca. “Today it has been freed and it can advance.”
The bill, which President Michelle Bachelet approves, will now go before Chilean lawmakers.