Chile: House of Deputies approves transgender rights bill

The lower house of the Chilean Congress on Tuesday approved a bill that would allow transgender adults to legally change their name and gender without surgery or a court order. The measure passed in the House of Deputies by a 68-35 vote margin. It will now go before the country’s Senate.

Rolando Jiménez, president of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, and Juan Enrique Pi, president of Fundación Iguales, also applauded the bill’s passage.

“Today we advanced a bit more towards dignity and closer to full equality of rights,” said Jiménez in a statement, noting trans Chileans are particularly vulnerable to discrimination because of their gender identity.

Paula Narvaéz, a spokesperson for President Michelle Bachelet’s government, noted to La Tercera, a Chilean newspaper, that lawmakers voted “against a special judicial procedure for children and adolescents” under 18 who want to legally change their name and gender.

The vote took place two weeks after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued a landmark ruling that recognizes trans rights and same-sex marriage. The decision is legally binding in Chile and the 19 other countries that recognize the American Convention of Human Rights. Read more via Washington Blade