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President Piñera signs historic gender identity law

SANTIAGO – President Piñera has signed the Gender Identity Law, which allows people over 18 years to change their gender in their legal documents. Minors over 14 years are allowed to do so with authorization of their parents. The law took five years to pass through Congress.

Although strongly opposed by the more conservative political parties in Chile, the law was signed by President Piñera in La Moneda palace yesterday. A victory for the LGBT community, especially for transgender people who are in the process of a sex change, or who are “born in the wrong body”.

People over 18 years old have the right to change the gender on their national ID (carnet), according to the new law, while minors over 14 years old need permission from parents or legal guardians. The LGBT community has said the next step is to lower the legal age for sex change.

Piñera: “All people are equal in dignity”

President Piñera said the signing of the law is in line with the beliefs of his administration. “Our government firmly believes that all people are equal in dignity, rights and duties. All people, with their freedom and creativity, are the true engines of a better society, and should be the architects of their own lives. That is a concept of freedom that recognizes the dignity of all human beings”, the president said.

Piñera also addressed the LGBT movement by saying that Chile has a “moral obligation to those who have been discriminated for a long time”. Within Piñera´s own party, UDI, there was resistance against the law until the very last minute.

Earlier, Chile Today, made the following report on the then approved law, and the struggles Chilean society is still facing. Because although the law has been signed, the acceptance of transgender people is a step that is yet to be taken.

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