Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Africa's resources: re-examining the management of oil and gas

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

A closer look at Trump's Afghan policy

Read more

THE DEBATE

New President, Old War: Trump outlines his strategy for Afghanistan

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump: An expensive president to protect

Read more

ENCORE!

Edinburgh at 70: front row at the Festival

Read more

FOCUS

Oil theft: a multi-billion dollar business fuels Mexican cartels

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French government, employers and unions begin final discussions on labour reforms

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Here are six costly failures from America’s longest war. No. 1: cashmere goats'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Charter of transparency…but no official ‘first lady’ title for Brigitte Macron

Read more

Americas

Candidates court the gay vote in a tight presidential contest

Text by Joseph BAMAT

Latest update : 2009-12-11

Challenged by an independent candidate who supports civil unions, conservative Catholics Sebastian Pinera (at left) and Edouardo Frei Ruiz are vying for gay votes in Chile's tight presidential race.

Gay couples holding hands and lesbians kissing on primetime television were unheard of in Chile. But, ahead of the first round of the presidential election on Dec. 13, mainstream candidates Sebastian Pinera and Edouardo Frei Ruiz have spiced up the lacklustre Chilean presidential race with their campaign adverts on gay rights.

The conservative Catholic politicians, both in their sixties, are making unprecedented efforts to win over the gay vote, a rare phenomenon in one of the most traditionally Catholic countries in Latin America.

In a television spot, right-wing billionaire Pinera appears standing next to a gay couple holding hands. Speaking on their behalf, the candidate calls on viewers to accept and respect their rights. In a televised debate in November, Pinera said he was in favour of a civil union for gay couples and said he would happily include homosexuals in his government and the country’s army.

Former president and Christian Democrat candidate Eduardo Frei Ruiz is using an advert of a lesbian couple kissing, after which one of the women says: “We deserve the same rights as everyone.”

The two sides are pushing hard to appeal to a younger generation that is gravitating toward a flashy political newcomer, independent centre-left candidate Marco Enriquez-Ominami, who in 2008 introduced legislation in Congress to legalise civil unions.

Date created : 2009-12-09

  • CHILE

    Conservative billionaire Pinera favoured to win presidential poll

    Read more

COMMENT(S)