Chile: Friendly Settlement before the IACHR Furthers Progress on Marriage Equality in Chile

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) reports that the parties involved in Petition 946-12, Cesar Antonio Peralta Wezel et al. with regard to Chile, signed a friendly settlement agreement on June 11, 2016. The petition, which was lodged in 2012, refers to three same-sex couples’ alleged lack of access to civil marriage and to legal recognition by the Chilean State of marriages performed in other countries.

The friendly settlement agreement was signed at a working meeting held between the parties in Chile, facilitated by the IACHR Rapporteur for that country. In the agreement, the State recognized the facts that gave rise to the petitioners’ complaint and acknowledged the need to continue strengthening its institutional foundations to avoid discrimination against LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and intersex) people. The State also recognized the need to improve and adjust its public policies and laws with a view to ensuring the effective exercise of the rights of LGBTI people.

In the text of the friendly settlement agreement, the State made a commitment to work with the petitioners to promote a process of public dialogue beginning with a public ceremony to which representatives of the three branches of government and of the Constitutional Court would be invited. The State also pledged to take steps to implement non-repetition measures, including bringing a marriage equality bill before the legislature; adopting the necessary measures to promote the initiative on marriage equality as a matter of legitimate interest in a democratic, inclusive society; reviewing and eventually reforming or repealing Articles 373 and 365 of the Criminal Code, to eliminate all types of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity; and tracking the bill on gender identity currently moving through the legislative process in the Senate.

The friendly settlement agreement was signed by State authorities at the highest level, including the Minister of Women and Gender Equity, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, the Minister of the General Secretariat of Government, the Minister of Education, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Human Rights Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Read more via OAS