Pope in Chile

Since his arrival in the South American nation of Chile, Pope Francis has faced widespread protests from LGBTI rights activists, calling for Homosexual Integration and Liberation in the Church.

Coordinating with his arrival into the Chilean capital of Santiago, Francis’ arrival at the city’s international airport was meet by the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, who had set up large screens which projected images of “the Roman Catholic Church’s crimes and atrocities.”

One of the images contained Francis’ picture and a 2015 quote the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation attributed to him.

“The homosexual union is ‘an anomalous, strange and irresponsible lifestyle,’” reads the quote.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who introduced a new bill in August 2017 that would extend marriage and adoption rights to same-sex couples, greeted Francis at the airport.

Speaking with the Washington Blade, Rolando Jiménez, president of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation said that his group “rejected” the government’s invitation to attend a welcome ceremony for Francis at the Presidential Palace.

Fundación Iguales, another LGBTI advocacy group, noted in a tweet directed at Pope Francis that according to recent polls, approximately 66 percent of Chilean Catholics support marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Pope Francis

Fundación Iguales also highlighted that this figure is the same among Chileans who are not Catholic.

“They back marriage equality because they believe in a society with equal justice for all,” the tweet said.

Fundación Iguales and the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation recently questioned the President of Chilean House of Deputies, Fidel Espinoza, for postponing a vote on a new transgender rights bill that had been scheduled to take place on the Tuesday coinciding with Francis’ visit.

The chamber’s Human Rights Commission had previously approved and supported the measure, specifically allowing trans-Chileans who are 18 years, or older to legally change their name and gender without surgery or a court order.