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Chile New President Promises to Fight for Same-Sex Marriage

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Thursday Mar 13, 2014
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Chile President Michelle Bachelet
Chile President Michelle Bachelet  (Source:AP Photo/ Luis Hidalgo)

Chile could be the next country to legalize same-sex marriage.

The country’s new president, Michelle Bachelet, who took office on March 11, is expected to promote LGBT equality, Gay Star News reports.

Bachelet, a member of the Socialist Party, defeated her conservative opponent Evelyn Matthei back in December, earning 62 percent of the vote. She is the first Chilean president in over half a century to return for a second term. Her first term was from 2006 to 2010.

During her campaign, Bachelet introduced same-sex marriage rights. She said she also supports a measure that would allow transgender Chileans to legally change their name and gender without surgery, hormonal treatments or psychological evaluations. She also wants to increase hate crime and anti-LGBT discrimination laws.

"Marriage equality, I believe we have to make it happen," Bachelet said last year, according to Gay Star News. Jamie Parada, a spokesperson for Chile’s LGBT rights group, Movilh, told Gay Star news that did not succeed on LGBT issues during her first term.

"Bachelet didn’t have the courage during her first administration to make good on four campaign promises that dealt with sexual diversity including an anti-discrimination law, a civil union law, anti-homophobic bullying legislation and modifications to the education system to include topics of sexual diversity."

If Bachelet is successful, Chile would be the fourth country in South America to recognize gay marriage. Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil all have laws that allow same-sex couples to tie the knot.

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