Chile's House of Deputies on Tuesday
approved a transgender rights bill.
Lawmakers in the chamber approved the
bill with a 68-35 vote. The legislation now heads to the Senate.
According to the
Blade, the bill would allow transgender adults to legally
change their name and gender without surgery or a court order.
LGBT rights groups cheered the news.
“Today we advanced a bit more towards
dignity and closer to full equal rights,” Rolando Jimenez,
president of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation,
said in a statement.
Twenty countries, including Chile, have
signed on to the American Convention of Human Rights. Two weeks ago,
the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued a landmark ruling on
LGBT rights. It said that member countries must recognize the rights
of transgender individuals and extend marriage rights to same-sex
Incoming President Sebastian Pinera,
however, is opposed to LGBT rights. It's unclear whether the Senate
will take up the transgender bill before Pinera takes office on March