It may have taken more time than the global community would have liked, but Chilean President Sebastian Pinera officially signed anti-discrimination legislation into law Thursday, three months after a gay man was beaten to death by his attackers. The legislation, though, has a long history. It was first introduced seven years ago, and it was largely ignored. But after the death of Daniel Zamudio, Pinera urged that Congress expedite the passage of the stalled bill. Finally in May it was approved. The death of the young man caused international pressure as well for Chile to raise the severity of crimes against gay and lesbian people to hate-crime status.
“Without a doubt, Daniel’s death was painful but it was not in vain,” Pinera said at a press conference joined by Zamudio’s parents. “His passing not only unified wills to finally approve this anti-discrimination law but it also helped us examine our conscience and ask ourselves: have we ever discriminated someone? … After his death we’ll think twice, thrice or four times before we fall prey to that behavior.” [AP]