Chile Passes Historic Law Protecting Trans and Nonbinary Citizens

Human Rights Campaign Hailed Passage of Historic Gender Law in Chile

The Ley de Identidad de Género — Gender Identity Law — has been put in effect by Chilean president Sebastian Pinera, the Human Rights Campaign confirmed in an email to The Advocate.

The law makes it so that transgender and nonbinary people over 14 can update their names on legal documents. It also guarantees that they will be addressed according to their true gender. The enactment was celebrated with a breakfast that was attended by families of trans people, civil rights groups, Chilean Minister of Justice Hernán Larraín, and President Pinera, according to Iguales.

“The rights that were excluded from transgender people in Chile are being acknowledged at last,” stated Juan Enrique Pi Arriagada, Executive President of Fundación Iguales, which was one of the groups that was fundamental in getting the law passed. “After years of fighting to ensure their legal recognition, we celebrate this historic triumph that will change the lives of many of those who, for far too long, lacked protections and lived in the shadows. While we celebrate this historic landmark, we must keep working to continue the fight towards full equality.”

Pi [Arriagada] did go on to say that the measure has a long way to go.

“One of the main challenges that remains ahead is the implementation of the accompaniment program for people of 14 years, which were not included in the legislation, and that will depend on the Ministry of Social Development. We hope that the organizations are invited to its elaboration” reported Iguales.

This sentiment was shared by the HRC’S Global Director, Ty Cobb.

“We commend the efforts of all the LGBTQ advocates involved, including our Chilean partners at Fundación Iguales, who worked tirelessly for five years to achieve this victory. While this legislation removes roadblocks for many trans people, there is still important progress to be made -- especially for transgender youth.” Cobb stated in an email to The Advocate.

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