LGBT rights in Chile
|LGBT rights in Chile|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal?||Legal since 1998,|
age of consent not equalized
|No recognition of same-sex couples|
|Military service||No official prohibition, but LGBT people may be discharged because of "offenses to values and morals of the Armed Forces".|
|Discrimination protections||None (see below)|
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Chile may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is legal in Chile, but same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex married couples.
Laws against homosexuality
Although homosexuality was legalized in 1998 in Chile, several court rulings within the last decade demonstrate discriminatory policy. In Chile the current law against sodomy states that the age of consent for homosexuals is set at 18, whereas the age of consent for heterosexual sex is lower at 14.
In July, 2009 a new Penal Code was drafted and might pass soon and will get rid of all the old criminal laws, even the age of consent which is still unequal in 2009 (see above). Under the draft Penal Code, the age of consent will be equal for all individuals at 18, regardless .
A landmark case, brought in 2005 by Andres Rivera, the founder of the only NGO in Chile dedicated to fighting for trans people's rights, won the right for trans people to legally change their name and sex in 2007.
Recognition of same-sex relationships
There is no legal recognition of same-sex couples. But the government has proposed recognition of civil unions for same sex couples. The bill was introduced in 2004.
Public opinion has shown substantial support for same-sex civil unions: 65% favored their legalization in 2004, even though only 24% supported same-sex marriage. In 2009, 33.2% supported same-sex marriage and 26.5% supported adoption by same-sex couples.
Support among young people is much higher: according to a study by the National Youth Institute of Chile, 56% of young respondents supported same-sex marriage, while 51.3% supported same-sex adoption.
There is no anti-discrimination law, however a bill to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation has been debated since 1998. LGBT and minority groups are working to add the words â€œsexual orientationâ€ and â€œgenderâ€ in Chileâ€™s Constitution to the civil rights and protection clause. Details of a new draft of the law were made public at the Forum on Same-Sex Civil Unions in Chile , held at the Diego Portales University, in May 2008. 
Activists believe that conservative attitudes are changing, finding greater public tolerance as Chile's Congress debates striking "offenses to morals and good customs" clauses "that police have used to harass gays, even for behavior such as holding hands in public".
The gay scene is no longer as small as in the past compared to neighbors like Argentina and Brazil. It is mostly concentrated in Santiago in the bohemian neighborhood Bellavista, home to a thriving restaurant and club scene. A gay pride parade is conducted every year in downtown Santiago.
The Chilean magazine, Opus Gay, has ventured far south, reporting on a recent lesbian march for equal rights in Concepcion , and on to the Straits of Magellan to report on the gay discothÃ¨que scene in Punta Arenas.
2004 removal of gay judge
In January 2004, the Chilean Supreme Court removed judge Daniel Calvo from his position on the Santiago Court of Appeals, after media reports that he visited a sauna frequented by gay men. The story broke following the arrest of a Chilevision TV editor for illegally taping, and then broadcasting, a conversation in the judge's chambers. Judge Calvo, investigating the case of an accused businessman running a child pornography ring, was taped in his office in a discussion with the owner of a gay sauna, in which he acknowledged being a former client  
2004 removal of custody rights from lesbian former judge
In 2004, the Chilean Supreme Court confirmed a lower court's decision that stripped former judge Karen Atala of custody of her three daughters because she is a lesbian. The case has been taken up by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. 
- Ortiz Lazo, Claudio - Reflexiones en torno a la homosexualidad y fuerzas armadas.
- Eighteen years on â€“ the gay rights movement in Chile - Santiago Magazine
- - Iranian and Chilean LGBT activists honoured, PinkNews.co.uk, March 5, 2008
- OpusGay (2004). Encuesta refleja amplia aceptaciÃ³n a derechos de homosexuales en Chile. Retrieved on 2009-03-16.
- Ipsos (April 2009). Estudio de opiniÃ³n pÃºblica. Retrieved on 2009-03-16.
- UniÃ³n civil para gays y lesbianas anima debate electoral
- - DIVAS DONâ€™T DISCRIMINATE, Valparaiso Times, Sept 3, 2007
- - CHILE: Law on Civil Union for Gays Within Reach, IPS, May 17, 2008
- - Conservative Chile More Tolerant of Gays, courant.com, July 2006
- - GAY PRIDE PARADE IN DOWNTOWN SANTIAGO, Santiago Times, October 2007
- - LESBIANAS MARCHAN EN CONCEPCION, Opus Gay, Nov. 2008
- - ARUBA: LA DISCOTECA GAY, LESBICA Y TRANSEXUAL DEL FIN DEL MUNDO, Opus Gay, Oct. 2008
- - Chile - Annual Report 2004, Reporters Without Borders
- - Judge scandal is step back for homosexuals in Chile, Reuters, Nov. 2003
- - Ruling in Chile forces gay parents to choose between the closet, parenting rights, from Knight-Ridder, July 2004
- Movimiento de IntegraciÃ³n y LiberaciÃ³n Homosexual (MOVILH)
- Movimiento Unificado de MinorÃas Sexuales (MUMS)
- Coordinadora Universitaria por la Diversidad Sexual (CUDS)
- Readers may use this email link to report errors and/or omissions they have discovered, or to add additional material or comments regarding this article "LGBT rights in Chile"
- Wiki Staff should discuss this article in the Wiki Staff Forum
- Susan's Place Transgender Resources Forums
- Susan's Place Transgender Chat
Browse: Gender | Cross-dressing | Intersexuality | Transgender topics | Transsexualism | Hormone Therapy | Surgery | Standards of Care | Legal Information | Psychology | Transitioning | Family & Friends | People | Books | Abbreviations | Browse All TopicsRead the FAQ | Return to the Main Page
Want to help us? Write New Articles and/or Expand Current Articles
*Some information provided in whole or in part by http://en.wikipedia.org/