With a week before voters head to the
polls, candidates for Chile's highest office headed to the Gay Pride
Five of Chile's nine presidential
candidates put in a personal appearance Saturday at Santiago's event.
Marco Enriquez-Ominami, of Partido
Progresista (Progressive Party); independents Franco Paris and Tomas
Jocelyn-Holt; Roxana Miranda, of Partido Igualdad (Equality Party),
and Alfredo Sfeir, of Partido Ecologista Verde (Green Ecologist
Party), expressed in person their support for marriage equality.
Michelle Bachelet, the frontrunner,
sent a representative, as did Marcel Claude, the humanist candidate.
Evelyn Matthei, the official candidate,
and Ricardo Israel, of Partido Regionalista Independiente (the
Independent Rationalist Party), oppose gay marriage.
Organizer El Movimiento de Integracion
y Liberacion Homosexual, known as Movilh, said that 60,000 people
attended the event.
Polls suggest Bachelet could win
Sunday's election without the need for a runoff. To do that, she
must capture 50 percent of the vote.
Bachelet, who served a 4-year term as
president ending in 2010, returned from abroad in May to seek a
Bachelet has also endorsed extending
marriage rights to gay couples.
In 2011, conservative President
Sebastian Pinera introduced a civil unions bill in fulfillment of a
campaign promise. But the proposal, criticized by activists, failed
to gain traction.