Chile celebrates LGBT rights in 2012 March for Equality

 People of all ages, backgrounds and walks of life invited to the June 23 event, hosted in the historic downtown of the nation’s capital.

Across Chile, conversations around lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights are bubbling amidst several key recent events, including a recent anti-discrimination law passed by the Chilean congress, and neighboring Argentina’s recent advances for transgender rights.

The 2012 March for Equality is taking these conversations to a public stage, following the success of the same event last year. Several of Chile’s leading LGBT rights organizations, including =Iguales and Movilh, are helping stage the event, which expects to receive over 100,000 people.
The 2012 march takes place on Saturday, June 23rd at 2:00pm, leading a jubilant path through downtown Santiago, from Plaza Italia to Paseo Bulnes. The date marks International Gay Pride day around the world.
“This is a peaceful, inclusive, cheerful march,” said Andrés Soffa, executive director at Iguales. “We’re not in support of any political candidates and we want there to be families, children and people of all ages and sexual orientations.”
Last year’s march brought together more than 50,000 people – including members of the LGBT community, their friends and family, as well as politicians and artists.
And while last year’s celebration was marked by the recent legalization of gay marriage in New York state, this year’s celebration is focused on advances that have occurred much closer to home: like the recent anti-discrimination law, passed after a gay youth was killed in a much-publicized hate crime.
“Since the anti-discrimination law has just been passed, we want to promote a more cultural look at a legal measure,” explained Alberto Roa, general secretary of MOVILH.
The April passing of Chile’s anti-discrimination law aims to legally protect minorities of all types by enforcing the state’s obligation to implement public policies in favor of anti-discrimination, establishing judicial policy for allocating restitutions when someone is found to have been discriminated against, and imposing higher penalties for crimes motivated by discrimination.
 “We also want families to assist in support of their LGBT sons and daughters, in our efforts to overcome discrimination in Chile,” Roa said.
Other leading LGBT organizations include Acción Gay, Corporación Humanas, Comunidad Judía de Chile, Mums, Valdiversa, Todo Mejor and Joven Confundido.