Chile: Motel fined for discriminating against lesbian couple

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In the first ruling under a new anti-discrimination law, a Chilean judge has fined a motel for refusing entry to a same-sex couple, and ordered that it can’t refuse entry in future.

The motel was ordered to pay a $4000 (£2500) fine to the lesbian couple, and were ordered to never forbid anyone from renting a room at the establishment based on sexual orientation, reported the Associated Press. 

The leading Chilean equal rights group, Movilh, called today’s ruling a victory. It had filed the lawsuit against the motel after new anti-discrimination legislation came into play back in July.

On 12 July, Chile’s president Sebastian Pinera signed anti-discrimination legislation into law. The move comes after the Neo-Nazi killing of a gay man, Daniel Zamudio, in March.

Mr Zamudio’s killing shocked Chile and sparked a national debate on hate crime. He suffered severe head injuries and his body was found in a city park with cigarette burns and swastikas carved in his skin.

Back in March, a gay judge won a custody case against the Chilean courts which had taken away her three daughters in 2004 believing her sexuality to put their development ‘at risk’.

A legal case is already underway to legalise equal marriage in Chile. Three Chilean couples  have already begun a case to remove the ban on equal marriage there.