Chilean president signs gender identity law

Chilean president Sebastian Pinera Credit Gobierno de Chile CC BY 30 CL CNA Chilean president Sebastian Pinera. | Gobierno de Chile (CC BY 3.0 CL)

Chilean president Sebastián Piñera signed into law Wednesday a bill permitting people aged 14 or older to change their name and gender in the civil registry.

The law signed Nov. 28 defines gender identity as "the personal or internal conviction of being a man or woman, in the person's self-perception, which may or may not correspond with the sex and name verified on the birth registration certificate."

It was first introduced in 2013 during the administration of Michelle Bachelet under the name "Recognizing and Giving Protection to the Right of Gender Identity."

Although some legislators filed an appeal with the Constitutional Court to declare the measure unconstitutional, this was rejected Oct. 25.

From 18 years of age, a person will be able twice to "obtain the rectification of the name and sex" in the registry.

Minors between 14 and 18 years of age will have to process the request in family court and have the approval of at least one of their parents or guardians.

Lacking that, the minor must ask a judge to intervene to proceed with the change of name and sex in the civil registry.

Once the minor makes the change they will not be able to retract it until turning 18.

Minors under 14 were finally not included in the law.

The law is part of the "Friendly Settlement Agreement" signed  in 2016 between the Homosexual Integration and Liberation Movement and the Chilean state, with the mediation of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

In this agreement, the state committed to "continue to perfect institutions on the foundational level " and to "improve and adapt" public policies and legislation to prevent discrimination and guarantee the rights of the LGBTI population.

This article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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