Uruguay: Effort to Roll Back Transgender Rights Fails

A ballot-box effort to roll back transgender rights in Uruguay failed to draw enough voters to the polls to trigger a national referendum, prompting LGBT+ rights supporters to declare victory on Monday over the conservative-backed initiative.

Fewer than 10% of eligible voters came out on Sunday in support of the effort, which sought to strike down a 2018 law that made it easier for trans people to change their gender identity and guaranteed their right to health care.

A turnout of at least 25% was required to put the question to a nationwide vote.

Among the most progressive countries in Latin America, Uruguay often has been at the vanguard of LGBT+ rights in the region.

Gay sex has been legal in Uruguay since 1933, and LGBT discrimination was outlawed in 2003. It approved gay adoption in 2009 and same-sex marriage in 2013.

The recent campaign to repeal the transgender law was led by Carlos Iafigliola, an opposition congressman with the conservative Partido Nacional.

"There are many people who fully support the law," said Federico Graña, a former LGBT+ activist and national director of socio-cultural promotion for the Uruguayan Ministry of Social Development.

The law also requires that 1% of staff at most government agencies be held by trans people and mandates a 1% quota for trans people in programs at the National Institute of Employment and Vocational Training. Read more via VOA