Chilean legislators pass gender-identity bill

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The Chilean House of Representatives has passed a bill that "recognizes and gives protection to gender identity," an initiative considered a priority by the government of President Michelle Bachelet.

Passed Jan. 23, the bill defines gender identity as "the internal and individual experience" that "each person deeply feels" and can "correspond or not to the assigned sex" at birth.

The bill, which now proceeds to Chile's Senate, would allow anyone over 18 to change his or her name and sex on government records through a standard procedure, without any medical or psychiatric requirements.

In a unique feature of the Chilean legislative process, the bill as a whole was approved with 68 votes for and 35 against, while voting on the particulars of the bill garnered 68 votes for, 28 against and 7 abstentions.

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