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“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for January, 2014

Chilean civil unions bill passed by Senate

Timothy Kincaid

January 8th, 2014

In August 2011, conservative Chilean President Sebastian Pinera fulfilled a campaign promise by proposing a civil unions bill. At that time he pledged to the bills passage by the end of his administration, March 2014.

Now movement has begun on the passage of the bill. (Santiago Times)

In its first session of 2014, Congress took a significant step for gay rights when the Senate approved legislation on same-sex civil union, as emotional supporters cheered and evangelical opponents held up banners with biblical messages aimed at lawmakers from the stands of the upper house.

Senators voted in favor of the Life Partner Agreement (AVP) late Tuesday evening with 28 votes in favor, six against and two abstentions. The bill will now pass to a constitutional assembly before returning to Congress on Jan. 20.

The country’s leading LGBTQ organization hailed the outcome as significant step toward passing a law which “the majority of the country” wants.

Incoming Socialist President-Elect Michelle Bachelet has promised support for a marriage bill.

Chile elects pro-equality President

Timothy Kincaid

December 21st, 2013

On Top

Voters in Chile on Sunday returned former president Michelle Bachelet to power.

The 62-year-old Bachelet fended off center-right candidate Evelyn Matthei by winning 62 percent of a runoff vote – the highest of any candidate since Chile returned to democratic elections.

Bachelet also campaigned on gay marriage, reiterating her supporter in several interviews. However, her center-left New Majority coalition has only a slim majority in both houses and a full plate.

Marriage a consideration in Chilean presidential election

Timothy Kincaid

July 5th, 2013

In Chile, a president can serve more than once, but not consecutive terms. Former President Michelle Bachelet (2006 – 2010) appears, at present, to be the likeliest winner of this year’s contest. (The Economist)

She ended her presidency in 2010 with a sky-high approval rating of 84%. Barring an upset, Michelle Bachelet looks set to return for a second term next year with her popularity undiminished. On June 30th she comfortably won a primary election in the Concertación, Chile’s centre-left coalition, taking 73% of the vote. Little seems to stand between her and victory in November’s election. She would be the first president in 81 years to win a second term (consecutive terms are not allowed).

Ms Bachelet also promises a more liberal approach to social affairs. She says she wants to legalise gay marriage and allow abortion in some limited circumstances (Chile is among the handful of Latin American countries that ban abortion outright, even when the mother’s life is in danger).

Marriage update – South America

Timothy Kincaid

January 27th, 2013

It’s getting marriagey all over the place. And it’s also getting hard to keep track of what is going on where. So here is an update to help (which will probably be outdated by the time I hit “publish”).

Central South America:

Argentina - marriage has been equal since 2010.

Bolivia - in 2011 a bill to grant some limited couple recognition was introduced into the Bolivian Chamber of Deputies. It was referred in April 2012 to the Human Rights Commission, where it appears to have fallen asleep.

Brazil - since May 2011, Brazil has had recognizd civil unions for same-sex couples. The states of Alegoas and Bahia allow couples to administratively convert the civil unions to marriage. Since last month, same-sex couples in Sao Paulo may marry without any converted-civil-unions process.

Chile - on March 27, 2012, Daniel Zamudio was tortured and beaten to death. Much in the same way that Matthew Sheppard’s story changed the United States, Zamudio’s has been changing Chile. A long-stalled non-discrimination bill was quickly passed and signed and the populace is now impatient with institutionalize homophobia.

In August 2011, conservative President Pinera sent a civil unions bill to congress and two months ago he reaffirmed that the end of his term, March 2014, is the deadline for its passage. In hearings on the bill in the first weeks of the year, the Catholic Bishop of San Bernardo testified that the bill “brings the destruction of human beings and, although they deny it, destruction to social and family peace among men.” However, public polling shows strong support and the President has named the bill “a top priority”.

The opposition party’s contenders for Presidential nominee debated earlier this month whether same-sex couples should have civil unions or marriage rights. It is likely that civil unions will be achieved this year and that marriage equality will then follow at some point.

Colombia - in July 2011, the Supreme Court found that same sex couples have the same contitutional rights to recognition as heterosexual couples, but they left the structure open to Congress to legislate. Since that time there have been various bills pass one house or the other, but none came to completion. Currently there is a marriage bill in the Senate which has passed the first committee hurdle. Should no bill be enacted by June 20th, same-sex couples will be able to go to judges and become recognized. As there is no alternative legal structure in place, it seems logical that the only legal alternative for judges is to declare them married. But as legislators are disinclined to turn over power to anyone, it’s even more likely that something – civil unions or marriage – will be in place by that date.

Ecuador - while marriage equality is banned by constitution, Ecuador has had civil unions since 2008.

Uruguay - civil unions have been available since 2007. Last month a marriage equality bill passed the House of Deputes with a wide margin last month and is expected to pass the Senate in April.

And while other nations in South America are strongly hostile to same-sex marriage recognition, many of them place strong importance on the rulings of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which has been increasingly supportive of gay rights. It may be that this court plays a role in shifting the continent’s laws in the near future.

Chile’s Matthew Shepard

Timothy Kincaid

April 2nd, 2012

October 7, 1998. That’s the day that American was introduced to a slight fragile 22 year old gay kid left in the snow to die alongside a rural Wyoming road. That is the day that when the nation shifted.

Every movement has a before and after moment. Often several. When parents in Ohio and Missouri and Nevada heard about Matthew Shepard, and saw his picture, they didn’t see a militant homosexual activist in the big city who got what he had coming; they saw the face of their own kids and the ones down the street. And overnight – literally – things were different.

March 27, 2012.
That is the day that Chile was introduced to a slight fragile 24 year old kid who kidnapped and tortured by four young men. He was burned with cigarettes , swastikas were carved into his skin, part of his ear was cut off and then he was beaten to death. And shocked Chileans are ready for change.

I had started a commentary with the above title, but didn’t have time to finish. Fortunately, the Christian Science Monitor has made the same comparison so I can just reference you to their excellent article.

Thousands of mourners thronged the family of 24-year-old Daniel Zamudio as they carried his battered body to his grave on Friday, a month after a violent attack apparently motivated by anti-gay sentiment.

As the family drove through Santiago, bystanders threw flowers, cheered, and chanted for justice. The brutal murder has shocked Chileans and has sent support for gay rights soaring in a country that has lagged behind many of its neighbors in addressing discrimination based on sexual orientation. The case spurred the government to fast-track an antidiscrimination law that has been stalled in the legislature for seven years.

“It’s a historic day. Thousands of people came out to mark a ‘before’ and an ‘after’ for the country,” Jaime Silva, a lawyer representing Zamudio’s family, said in an interview at the funeral. “This crime grabbed attention for its brutality. It was the most brutal attack we’ve seen since the days of the dictatorship. And it was utterly senseless. If it happened to Daniel, it could happen to you or me or any one of us.”

Couple recognition in Latin America

Timothy Kincaid

August 10th, 2011

As it stands, much of Latin America either has some form of couple recognition or is in the process of doing so.

Marriage – Argentina 2010
Marriage – Mexico 2010 – marriage must occur in Mexico City but recognized throughout
Civil Unions – Uruguay 2007
Civil Unions – Ecuador 2008
Civil Unions – Brazil 2011
Proposed – Colombia 2011 – Court directed the legislature to draft law
Proposed – Chile 2011 – President proposed Life Partnership (Civil Unions) bill

Chile’s president introduced Life Partner bill

Timothy Kincaid

August 10th, 2011

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera has made good on his promise to support a civil unions bill by signing and sending to Congress a bill which would grant same sex couples the right to register a Acuerdo de Vida en Pareja (Life Partner Agreement). (AFP)

Chile’s conservative president proposed legislation Tuesday to recognize gay civil unions, granting them some of the same rights as married couples in the ultra-Catholic country.

“All forms of marriage deserve respect, dignity and the support of the state,” said President Sebastian Pinera, who signed the proposal and sent it to Congress.

“This puts opposite-sex and same-sex couples on the same footing, because in both cases it is possible to develop love, affection and respect.”

Pinera, who brought conservatives to power after 20 years of center-left rule in the country, grated on his own election campaign when he announced his intention to legalize civil unions for gay couples. He said two million people in Chile live together without marrying.

I’ll admit that I assumed that Pinera’s campaign advertising which included gay couples was just for show and unlikely to translate into legislation.

The bill may face backlash from the Catholic Church. Chile is 80% Catholic.

Chilean President proposes couple recognition

Timothy Kincaid

July 12th, 2011

During the last presidential campaign in Chile, candidates sought to outdo each other in their displays of support for gay Chileans. At the time, we wondered whether or how this would translate into legislation after the election.

As it turns out, conservative Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, who as a candidate ran prime-time ads with gay men holding hands and lesbians kissing each other, is prepared to take action on the issue. It appears to be comparable to a Domestic Partnership (but will probably be called “civil unions” in English-speaking press).

From La Tercera (as translated by Google)

According to a draft summary of the currency delivered in recent days representatives of the Alliance, which agreed the Third, this will allow unmarried couples, heterosexual and homosexual, to register with the Registrar if they meet some requirements, including a period of coexistence of more than one year.

Although the agreement between the cohabitants must subscribe before a notary, as a way to avoid a ceremony that may resemble that of a civil marriage, the contract must be validated within 15 days, with an inscription to the Civil Registry .

In line also with the idea of ​​differentiating the new institution of marriage, it would be called “non-marital cohabitation agreements” (ACNM), and “will not alter or marital status of the contractor or establish kinship by affinity relatives of the other. ”

If I read this correctly, you get couple recognition and legal rights, but no in-laws.

If this proposal passes, Latin America will have the following forms of couple recognition:

Argentina recognizes marriage and Mexico recognizes marriage provided that they occur in Mexico City. Brazil, Uruguay, and Ecuador recognize civil unions. Chile will recognize whatever form ultimately results from the legislation, and Colombia recognizes common-law marriage.

Chilean parliamentarian to propose marriage equality law

Timothy Kincaid

August 1st, 2010

From Reuters:

The head of Chile’s Socialist party, Fulvio Rossi, told reporters on Sunday that he planned to sponsor a bill to legalize gay marriage in the country, as occurred last month in neighboring Argentina.

The bill does not have the support of the President and the Church will put up a fight. However, this step may put pressure on the legislature to pass a civil unions bill.

Chilean politician introduces civil unions legislation

Timothy Kincaid

June 25th, 2010

From InfoSurHoy

Chilean Sen. Andrés Allamand of the Renovación Nacional Party said he plans to introduce legislation creating civil unions for unmarried couples – regardless of whether they are of the same sex – and give them the same rights as married couples. The series of laws, called Acuerdo de Vida en Común (AVC), would enable homosexual couples to have the same social security rights that are only granted to heterosexual couples but does not legalize gay marriage.

Chile candidates try to out-support each other

Timothy Kincaid

December 4th, 2009

Per globalpost.com

It’s unheard of: Gay men holding hands and lesbians kissing each other on prime-time television, brought to you by conservative and Catholic presidential candidates.

However, while all of the candidates are seeking to appear more supportive than the others, there is little certainty that this will translate into real support after the election.

Guess Who Else Isn’t On Board With the U.N. Resolution to Decriminalize Homosexuality

Jim Burroway

December 5th, 2008

Mark, at Slapped Upside the Head, has a good take on yesterday’s news that the Vatican is opposing a U.N. resolution calling on member states to rescind laws outlawing homosexuality — which in some countries includes the death penalty. We discussed the Vatican’s intrinsically disordered logic here. Mark has his own take here.

There are a lot of countries which have already signed on to the declaration, including: Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Uruguay, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Those last three are rather surprising. Also surprising co-sponsors are three African countries: Gabon, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau. That’s quite an impressive list.

So, who’s missing? Well, let’s see. Oh look: the United States and Australia.

Chile may be Considering Marriage Equality

Timothy Kincaid

April 3rd, 2008

chile.jpg I’ve only found one source for this story, the Catholic News Agency.

According to a report on Lifesitenews.com, a bill has been introduced into the Chilean National Congress to allow homosexuals to “marry” and adopt children.

Officially named the “Bill that Modifies the Civil Code in relation to the Concept of Marriage”, it is being promoted by the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (MOVILH) and other homosexual groups, and is similar to one that failed in 2003.

I was unable to locate or identify the story they are referencing on Lifesitenews.