Chile's leading gay rights advocate has
filed a lawsuit seeking marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples
The Movement for Homosexual Integration
and Liberation (Movilh) presented what it describes as the
first-of-its-kind case to the Inter-American Commission of Human
Rights on Monday, The Santiago Times reported.
The group claims that denying gay
people the right to marry violates several parts of the American
Convention of Human Rights.
Alberto Roa, general secretary of
Movilh, called the lawsuit “unprecedented.”
“We are demanding the legalization of
marriage and civil union, not just because we all want to get
married. This is a matter of equality for all,” Roa
told the paper.
A recent poll found a
majority of Chileans support the legalization of gay marriage.
President Sebastian Pinera last year
proposed legislation which would legalize civil unions in Chile,
though Congress has yet to consider the bill.
“While the president still doesn't
support gay marriage, he does support civil unions and we respect his
move on the bill,” Roa said. “This was very important for us
because it prompted people on the left to support gay marriage
itself, due to the fact that a right-wing president sent such a
liberal proposal for a bill.”