Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chile: Religion teacher who was fired for being a lesbian files suit against the Chilean State in international court

I have been seeing this case build up and had planned to write something about it but the great folk at the UK's Pink News beat me to it. From their article:

[Religion teacher Sandra Cecilia] Pavez had taught at a public school in San Bernardo for 23 years.

She lost her position in 2007 after admitting to church authorities she was a lesbian, resulting in her teaching certificate being taken away.

Bishop Juan Ignacio Gonzalez Errazuriz, head of San Bernardo Diocese, also urged Ms Pavez to seek psychological help.

She has twice previously attempted to file lawsuits, one before a local court and another before Chile's Supreme Court but both attempts were unsuccessful.

Ms. Pavez said:

"If there is no guarantee of my rights as a citizen in this country then what kind of citizen am I? A third or second class citizen? Maybe I don't even have a category in my country."

Ms. Pavez has now turned to the Inter-American Human Rights Court where she filed a discrimination suit against the Chilean State. Above, she stands with Rolando Jimenez, President of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (MOVILH) who has backed her in the courts (photo courtesy of the Chilean web portal OpusGay).

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