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Chile’s Lawmakers Vow Action Over Gay Hate Crime Death

Chile’s Lawmakers Vow Action Over Gay Hate Crime Death

 

Chile’s lawmakers finally appear willing to push through an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination bill following the brutal murder of 24-year-old Daniel Zamudio.

This comes after the United Nations last week issued a strong statement calling on Chile’s lawmakers to act.

Reports CNN:

“We deplore the violent criminal act that took the life of this young man and urge the Chilean Congress to pass a law against discrimination, including on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, in full compliance with relevant international human rights standards,” said Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the U.N. high commissioner for human rights.

“The case should be seen in the wider context of hate-motivated violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons around the world,” he added.

[...]

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera addressed the incident this week.

“We want to reiterate today that we have made a commitment. We are not going to tolerate any kind of discrimination against Chilean citizens based on their socioeconomic status, their religion or sexual orientation,” he said.

[...]

A [nondiscrimination] bill was introduced seven years ago but has languished as conservative groups blocked its passage.

“At every turn, this law has been cut. At every turn, there have been efforts to trim it. There was even resistance to having discrimination based on sexual orientation included in the (bill). This is something Chile can no longer permit. And now, after the death of Daniel, which has brought this moment of sensibility, it is time to pass” the bill, said Carolina Toha, president of the liberal Party for Democracy.

Nondiscrimination legislation once again passed the Chilean Senate with a strong majority in November of last year but, continuing a seven year trend, the legislation has so far failed to come up for a vote in Chile’s lower house.

The Associated Press tells that this is largely due to evangelical lobbyists who say that the law would be a first step toward gay marriage — even though there is no such language in the bill.

The text of the bill describes illegal discrimination 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 established by the constitution or in international human rights treaties ratified by Chile.”

Zamudio died last Tuesday from the horrific injuries he sustained in early March. His attackers beat him in a Santiago park with bottles and rocks, cut off part of his ear, and allegedly used glass to carve three swastikas into his flesh. Doctors were forced to induce a coma so as to try and give Zamudio the best chance of survival but, despite early indications that he might survive, Zamudio’s condition worsened and he was unable to recover.

While nondiscrimination legislation would not have actively saved Zamudio’s life, supporters of the bill say that passing the law would make an unequivocal statement that Chile’s administration will not tolerate discrimination against its LGBT citizens.

Charges against the suspects in this case, four men aged between 19 and 25 who are all thought to have links to a neo Nazi group, have been upped from attempted murder to aggravated murder. So far the men have all denied the charges.

The family of Zamudio led a funeral procession through their neighborhood Friday. They were joined by hundres of people who lined the streets to mourn the loss of the 24-year old and to make clear that the government must act to stem the brutality of violent crimes against Chile’s LGBT citizens.

 

Related Reading:

Chilean Gay Man in Coma After Brutal Neo-Nazi Assault

Chile Preparing Gay Unions Bill

Chilean President to Forward Parliament a Gay-Inclusive Civil Unions Bill

 

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Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Eustaquio Santimano.

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23 comments

+ add your own
1:44PM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

Vow and DO are 2 completely different things, I'll wait for the outcome...

12:39PM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

I still think we have to make a cause pettion to ensure this bill to pass.

Past week conservatives tweet about they were sorry about Zamudio but they will say NO to the bill either way. I can't believe in Piñera too much. And the conservatives (UDi and RN) and the Opus day extremist religious christian sect who are lobbing with the conservatives (many of them are in this sect) will be acting against the bill and without their favorable vote, the bill will not pass

so i ask again for help in doing a petition

10:51AM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

Changing the attitude of the super macho culture would be a good start. I do hope that Chile is an instrument of change on this.

8:20AM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

Actions speak louder than words. Can't wait to see the outcome of the trial for these
four "men" who committed this horrific crime.

7:03AM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

I'm glad that this is finally happening, but I'm sad that it took a life to make it happen.

What is it with human rights battles?
It always takes the brutal murder or suicide or someone from the group in question for anything to change.
This is true with almost every cause.
Even the African American civil rights struggle started the same way.

I wish that people wouldn't have to be made martyrs for things to change.
What's really ironic,
is that these super-religious people worship a guy on a cross only to try and put everyone else on it.
I guess that's more hypocritical than ironic,
but that always gets under my skin.
anyways,
congratulations to Chile
and my condolences to everyone who knew this person.
I hope this works out.

4:22AM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

I like the President of Chile - he seems like a real good guy. He was the one that stood and gave every buried miner a hug when they came out and up. He sounds like a very caring person. Lucky Chileans!!

3:53AM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

The UN must continue to take a strong stand against this increasing abuse of LGTBs.

History tells us that mostly the abusers are males wanting to reassure themselves of their unsure heterosexuality and there cohorts are the same or weak willed. Fundamentalist religion, as always, plays a large part in cruelty as it does here, Roman Catholicism and Islam being set for this.

One of the reasons religion has made Homosexuality an enemy is because they needed reproductive copulation to maintain their congregation so power, but now with overpopulation of the planet this can cease. ..... and the male leaders of religion must resign themselves to gaining congregation by their example of kindness to others. I'm sure there is a course you could do if you find it difficult, 'How to have regard of all varieties of humankind' - there are American politicians that need to attend too.

3:50PM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

Leave it to the evangelical lobbyists to block an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination bill. Perhaps the United Nations should issue a statement calling out the disgusting actions of the evangelicals throughout the world.

3:44PM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

sounds like the Matthew Shepard vicious murder in 1998 by McKinney and Henderson

Where the catholic church tried to illegally influence the Jury, and smear the prosecuter

And after the trial and sentencing (life w/0 parole), most likely it was the same church that floated the rumor that the murder was a drug deal gone bad

The catholic church calls gays and gay sex intrinically evil, intriniscally disordered. YEt it has been renamed the church of the endless HIDDEN molestation of children

Which basically is what some call "soul murder"

BTW the latest scandal just beginning to erupt -

http://www.news.com.au/top-stories/dutch-catholic-church-castrated-boys-in-gay-treatment/story-e6frfkp9-1226306186339

2:06PM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

Laws needs support

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