On Saturday 22 June, a new Santiago Pride March 2019 was held on the Alameda Avenue, the Chilean capital’s main street. As in previous years, the British Embassy was present at the event organised by Movilh and Iguales Foundations, to celebrate diversity and reiterate its commitment to LGBTI rights. Over 130,000 people attended the March this year, many of whom were able to enjoy the music of Scottish bagpipers performed by the Santiago Metropolitan Pipe Band and Rapsodia, the most famous Queen Tribute band in Chile.
The aim of the Embassy’s participation at Santiago Pride March was to promote the work carried out by the British Government, and particularly the Foreign Office, the Department for International Trade and Visit Britain, to support LGBTI rights globally. During 2019 and 2020, British missions overseas will participate in a number of events around the world, with 29 of them being organised in different cities across the Americas, including the March in Santiago.
In 2012, the Embassy in Santiago was the first diplomatic mission to raise the rainbow flag to mark the International Day against Homophobia, Lesbophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, which we continue to do every year as part of our contribution to promote a cultural change towards the end of violence and discrimination against the LGBTI community. Likewise, in 2015 our Consulate officiated the first marriage of a same-sex couple in Chile as part of the consular services that we provide to British citizens residing in the country.
Achievements in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is recognised as one of the most progressive countries in Europe on LGBTI rights:
- For more than a decade there have been civil union agreements and in 2014 equal marriage came into force in England, Wales and Scotland.
- In 2002, same-sex couples acquired equal rights in matters of adoption.
- Since 2005, transgender people can opt to legally change their gender, acquiring a new birth certificate.
The activities to support the promotion of diversity and respect for LGBTI rights in Chile have received support from the GREAT campaign, a cross-Government initiative aimed to display the best of the UK and encourage people to visit, do business, invest and study in the UK. It is the Government’s most ambitious international promotional campaign ever, uniting the efforts of the private and public sectors to generate jobs and growth for Britain.