What did you do this weekend? In Santiago, Chile, more than 50,000 people took to the streets to march in support of gay and trans rights.
Among those demonstrating on Saturday were celebrities, several presidential candidates, the European Union ambassador and popular folk singer Camila Moreno. Ex-President Michelle Bachelet sent a letter praising the action, which also promoted the upcoming International Day Against Homophobia on May 17.
Current President Sebastián Piñera has proposed a measure that would grant same-sex couples civil unions, stopping short of full marriage equality. Piñera also signed a hate-crimes law last year after the gruesome murder of Daniel Zamudio at the hands of neo-Nazis.
Those who took part in the Santiago march also demanded the government pass a law that would allow transgender Chileans to legally change their names and sex without a court order.
“The government and the National Congress should take note of these massive mobilizations that demonstrate time and time again that the majority of this country supports full equality of rights for sexual minorities,” said Rolando Jiménez, president of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (Movileh).
In South America, both Argentina and Uruguay allow gay couples to marry, as do several states in Brazil, including Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.