Chile: Army general criticised for issuing orders to “avoid gays”

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Calls for a top Chilean general to retire have come after he issued orders which instructed recruiters to avoid gay people, conscientious objectors, and religious groups.

Army Commander Cristian Chateau signed off on orders to recruiting officers to be “especially concerned” with recruiting soldiers who are “morally and intellectually prepared” for military service, the Associated Press reported.

The document continued, saying they should avoid people with “physical, mental or socioeconomic problems, criminal behavior, drug use, homosexuals, conscientious objectors and Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

The Chilean Defence Minister, Andres Allemand,  issued a statement on the matter, saying that the orders in question go against government policy, and said that he had asked for a full military review of the orders to clear up the issue.

Rolando Jimenez, the president of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, said that a review of the instructions is not enough, and that General Chateau should be forcibly retired.

In July, Chile’s president Sebastian Pinera signed anti-discrimination legislation into law. The move came after the Neo-Nazi killing of a gay man, Daniel Zamudio, in March.

Back in June, Santiago’s twelfth annual pride parade took place with over 80,000 people demanding further advancement of LGBT rights in Chile.


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