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  • First march for adoption in homosexual couples in Chile, on July 2014 (Photo: Flickr Movilh Chile)

    First march for adoption in homosexual couples in Chile, on July 2014 (Photo: Flickr Movilh Chile) | Photo: Movihl Chile

Published 6 September 2014

In Chile, a historically conservative and homophobic country, new generations are opening space for a debate about diversity in their country.

Seven out of 10 Chilean youth supports same-sex marriage, according to a Friday poll from Chile’s National Youth Institute (INJUV).

Gay marriage is currently banned in the country.

“We have now a more tolerant youth, who think that five years from now there will be more civil unions between homosexual couples, more options for name and gender change and same-sex marriages. This is a generation more likely to debate and accept sexual diversity,” said Nicolás Preuss, INJUV Director.

The poll on “Perceptions about Sexual Diversity” revealed that 64 percent of youth also approve of adoption for same-sex couples. Another 51 percent think that a child's development will not be affected by having same-sex parents, with just 30 percent saying that it could have negative consequences. Twelve percent of respondents say that it might have a positive impact in the adopted children.

INJUV's poll also indicated that young women registered a slightly higher approval rating of same-sex marriage - 75 percent - than their male counterparts at 70 percent.

In August, Chilean Navy serviceman Mauricio Ruiz became the first openly gay member of the country's armed forces, following the government's recently launched campaign to help integrate gays into the military.

Chile’s Congress is about to approve a law on civil unions that includes both heterosexual and homosexual couples, but it is not an equivalent to marriage.

Last year the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (Movilh)published a survey indictating that 3.3 percent of Chileans youths identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual.

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