Chile's largest gay rights group
Movimiento Chileno de Minorias Sexuales (MOVILH) on Tuesday called
for a national march in support of gay marriage.
“It's time to mobilize,” the group
said. “It seems the only way officials listen. We are confident
that we will be thousands and thousands of people.”
The June 25 demonstration will be held
in the nation's capital and largest city, Santiago, starting at 3PM
at the Plaza Italia.
The action comes 10 months after
Senator Fulvio Rossi, the president of the Socialist Party, implied
the Roman Catholic Church had strong-armed four senators to withdraw
their support for his gay marriage bill. Rossi insisted the church's
loud criticism would not deter him and that he would not withdraw his
bill. However, the measure has gained little traction.
The group said it wanted to send a
message to President Sebastian Pinera, a conservative lawmaker
elected in January who supports the legal recognition of gay and
lesbian couples but not marriage. Pinera has on several occasions
suggested he would back a civil unions bill, but such a proposal has
yet to materialize.
The group said additional regional
marches were also being planned.