Chile President Sebastian Pinera on
Thursday signed a groundbreaking anti-discrimination law following
the murder of gay youth Daniel Zamudio.
Zamudio died March 27 from injuries he
received during an attack in a park in Santiago on March 3. Police
have arrested 4 suspects who have been charged with beating Zamudio
for an hour, burning him with cigarettes and carving Nazi symbols
into his body. Officials believe the 24-year-old Zamudio was
targeted because he was gay.
“Without a doubt, Daniel's death was
painful but it was not in vain,” Pinera said during a press
conference where he was joined by Zamudio's parents.
“His passing not only unified wills
to finally approve this anti-discrimination law but it also helped us
examine our conscience and ask ourselves: have we ever discriminated
[against] someone? … After his death we'll think twice, thrice or
four times before we fall prey to that behavior,” Pinera is
reported as saying by the AP.
Evangelical churches had lobbied
heavily against the measure, arguing it would lead to the eventual
legalization of gay marriage.
Discrimination made illegal by the law
is defined as “any distinction, exclusion or restriction that lacks
reasonable justification, committed by agents of the state or
individuals, and that causes the deprivation, disturbance or
threatens the legitimate exercise of fundamental rights.”
Pinera had urged lawmakers to approve