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CONNECT THE WORLD
Houthi Rebels Claim To Have Shot Down Saudi F-15; Ireland Celebrates Same-Sex Marriage Referendum; Iraqi Security Forces Retaking Some Ground East of Ramadi; Palestinian FA To Ask To Ban Israel From International Competition; Women Activists Cross DMZ Into North Korea for Peace. Aired 11:00a-12:00p ET
Aired May 24, 2015 - 11:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:11] ZAIN ASHER, HOST: The counteroffensive to retake Ramadi from ISIS: an alliance of Iraqi forces pushes closer to Ramadi and they're
already gaining some ground.
Also ahead, Houthi rebels say they've shut down this Saudi fight jet. We're going to bring you the latest on the war in Yemen as airstrikes
Also, celebrations in Ireland after voters there say yes to same-sex marriage. We'll have details of the first popular vote of its kind in the
ANNOUNCER: This is the hour we Connect the World.
ASHER: We begin in Iraq where an alliance of forces is striking back against ISIS and regaining some lost ground near Ramadi.
ISIS took control of Ramadi about a week ago and then swiftly moved east. You can see the map here towards Baghdad.
Iraqi troops backed by Sunni and Shiite forces have now launched a counter offensive to try and push ISIS back away from the nation's capital,
away from Baghdad and a key military base in Habbaniyah.
CNN's senior international correspondent Arwa Damon is joining us live now from Baghdad.
So, Arwa, clearly the loss of Ramadi hugely embarrassing for the government. Explain how this is affecting Haider al-Abady politically.
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it doesn't really bode well for any sort of attempt to bring the Sunni population into the
fold and convince them that this predominately Shia-led government does, in fact, have their best interests at heart. The fall of Ramadi by many was
viewed as effectively being the Shia government's inability or lack of desire to want to send fighters in to try to protect what is effectively a
For quite some time now, the leadership in Anbar province, the leadership that was trying to fight in Ramadi had been asking for
reinforcements, they'd been asking for more airstrikes. They will say that they were eventually forced to withdraw because that did not happen.
Of course, now we're hearing all sorts of various different reports that they were perhaps given orders to withdraw, exactly why at this stage
is unclear. But the Iraqi government, if it really wants to bring the Sunni population into the fold has to make sure that it protects the
population. And by letting Ramadi fall that most certainly is not the message that was given, Zain.
ASHER: Yeah, and as you touched on briefly we did hear Ashton Carter, the U.S. defense secretary, he's been talking about the Iraqi army's sort
of lack of will, if you will, to destroy ISIS.
But in terms of strategy, how likely is it that we're going to see the Iraqi government arm, you konw, Sunni tribes in the region to help them
DAMON: Well, they've said they're going to. We did see a very small attempt actually materialize to that degree. But it's nowhere near the
extent that is needed or is required or is being requested on the ground at this stage. And by not arming the Sunni tribes, the government again sends
that message to the population that it does not necessarily trust them. And that is not again a message that the government can afford to be
sending out at this stage, it needs the Sunnis, especially those in Anbar province, especially those tribal fighters that are willing to fight
alongside government forces against ISIS to be brought into the fold. They know the terrain, and they can also use their tribal ties to try to lure
more individuals who are perhaps sympathetic to ISIS over to the government's cause.
So it's really quite critical at this stage that the government does begin that effort in earnest before it's too late, Zain.
ASHER: Especially as we've seen that these airstrikes are clearly not havin the results, the intended results at least.
So, you know, when yuo read up on this, you sort of hear that there's zero chance that Baghdad is going to fall to ISIS, but in reality how
viable is that threat?
DAMON: Look, we've been out earlier today. We were speaking to a number of Iraqis. And they are very worried about ISIS. And as one man
was saying, ISIS has launched such a psychological and emotional war on this country that even just the rumor of ISIS's coming is enough to cause
panic and chaos.
But ask people living in the capital if they really believe that it will fall to ISIS and they'll say, no. But it's not because of the
capabilities of the Iraqi security forces, it is simply put as everyone earlier today was telling us, because Iran will not allow it to.
And this goes to the complexities and the dynamics that exist here. People, whether they want to see Iran's influence in Iraq or not do
recognize that it is going to do whatever it has to, to protect Baghdad whether it comes in the form of supporting the Iraqi government, or what
we're seeing actually happening is its support for these popular mobilization units, the Shia paramilitary force that has been highly
controversial, but highly effective.
So there is this belief that if ISIS is truly threatening Baghdad, Iran is going to be the entity that comes in to save it.
[08:05:15] ASHER: Yeah, and the fact that the Shia militia are getting in on this fight certainly highlighting the sectarian tensions
involved in this battle to combat ISIS.
OK, Arwa Damon live for us in Baghdad. Arwa, as always, thank you so much.
We will, of course, have much more on ISIS in Iraq later on in this show, but coming up in about 10 minutes Iraq's vice president speaking to
CNN about the struggles his country is facing in terms of fighting ISIS and how he thinks the Sunni-Shia divide is preventing reconciliation.
Yemeni officials are reporting almost 100 airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition in Sanaa today targeting several military bases. Meantime,
eyewitnesses told Reuters an exchange of artillery destroyed a key border crossing with Saudi Arabia overnight.
The UN says more than 1,000 civilians have died since late March when the fighting began between Houthi rebels and pro-government forces.
The coalition has been targeting those rebels. And a Saudi fighter jet may indeed have been shot down. Ian Lee is watching these developments
from Cairo. He joins us now.
So, Ian, as I mentioned, we are hearing these sort of conflicting reports about this Saudi F16 fighter jet being shot down. The Saudis are
denying this, what are you hearing on the ground?
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, earlier this morning we were hearing from the Houthis that they had shot down an F-16, but the
only problem is Saudi Arabia does not operate F-16s, that later changed the Houthis said they were mistaken that it was actually in fact an F-15,
something that Saudi Arabia does operate.
And they released these pictures of what they claim are the downed -- is the downed airplane. And when you look at these pictures, it's hard to
tell really if it is a downed F-15 or not. There's nothing in it that really gives away -- we can not verify these pictures. What you do see,
though, is a piece of metal with Royal Saudi Air Force on it. You also see some missiles as well.
But these pods, these fuel tanks, we know that pilots can drop them on purpose. It could be one of those. So that raises a lot of questions.
Also, if Saudi Arabia did lose an F-15, they operate a very variant that is a two-seater. So, if that plane was shot down and it is confirmed
than Saudi Arabia will be looking for two pilots instead of one, although Saudi Arabia so far has been tight-lipped and hasn't confirmed anything to
ASHER: Right, so a lot of conflicting reports. And still more questions than answers.
You know, given that the Saudi-led coalition did lose some of its advantage during the ceasefire just a few weeks ago, how likely is it we're
going to see another ceasefire any time soon?
LEE: Well, that's the hope of really everyone. They want to see this come to an end.
The United Nations is hoping that later this month that they can have a conference, get both sides together and talk and get a permanent
ceasefire, not a temporary ceasefire. But when you look at the demands of the both warring factions really do conflict. The Houthis want a ceasefire
going into these talks to have a permanent ceasefire. And you look at the government that is in exile, the Yemeni government in exile in Saudi
Arabia, they want the Houthis to pull back from the cities and recognize their legitimacy.
These are two things that really we've seen neither side willing to do.
So it is going to be very difficult to get them back together, although a ceasefire for the civilians is badly needed, Zain.
ASHER: Yeah, absolutely. When you think about the humanitarian toll, the humanitarian crisis this war, if you will, has created it is
Ian Lee live for us there in Cairo. Ian, thank you so much. We appreciate that.
We go to Ireland now where it is a day after a very historic vote. People there are resounding and world's first yes to same-sex marriage by
Cheers and celebrated greeted the results on Saturday which showed more than 60 percent of voters approve the constitutional change in the
predominately Catholic country.
CNN's Phil Black has more from Dublin.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the moment it became official. The counting complete, confirmation the Irish people had
decisively voted to include same-sex marriages in their constitution. The claim at the end of a long emotional day.
The square at Dublin castle filled hours before with people who already knew their country had changed profoundly. The no campaign had
conceded quickly not long after the count started, because the earliest results pointed to a big voter turnout and a powerful call to treat gay
couples equally under the law.
So much happiness, so many tears, the building crowd was joyful as Ireland's voted constituencies declared their results one at a time turning
green the color for yes.
Their want was strongest for the many and varied figures who had led the yes campaign under a banner of equality, Ireland's new heroes and
icons, like entertainer
PANTI BLISS, ENTERTAINER: We have a lot of referendums in this country. But you know when we passed some referendum to do with the bail
laws or something we don't have a party like this in Dublin castle, so you know there is special.
BLACK: Every major political leader in this country supported the yes campaign
What does this result, what does all of this say about Ireland today?
GERRY ADAMS, SINN FEIN: (inaudible) in Ireland which is no below the surface, good humor, good natured, full of (inaudible), full of spunk (ph),
loving, right. And then there's the more conservative elites who governor. And the head in Ireland took charge.
BLACK: By the time Ireland was almost entirely its most famous color, but for one red patch, the crowd was ecstatic, the looming win overwhelming
and beyond all expectation. the journey here wouldn't have been possible without this man.
David Norris was Ireland's first gay activist and fought for decades to overturn homosexuality's criminal status.
DAVID NORRIS, ACTIVIST: The message from this small independent republic to the entire world is one of dignity and freedom and tolerange.
Liberte, fratnernity, egalite...
BLACK: Not everyone here was gay, but many were, now suddenly aware their country recognized their relationships equality.
We first met Atain (ph) and Michelle earlier in the week.
You guys were talking about crying a lot the other day.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, we did a lot of crying today. And here we go again. We're just so happy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah. It's a big day. It's a big day.
BLACK: After ten years together, Ireland has decided they can now marry.
The much feared hordes of shy no voters that might have blocked this turned out to be a myth and Ireland proved its world famous reluctance for
embracing social change is now history.
Phil Black, CNN, Dublin.
ASHER: Incredible. The entire world watching Ireland right now. 62 percent of that country voting yes to same-sex marriage.
Later on in this show, we're going to be hearing from an Iraqi Irish media personality for whom this vote was very personal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RIYADH KHALAF: He's 7 years old in the playground the first time they tell him he's different. 12 years old when he finds out why.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: That is Riyadh Khalaf. And I'm going to be talking to him in around 20 minutes time about what this vote meant for him and the struggle
for global gay rights. Do stay in tuned for that.
Still to come tonight, a group of female activists is celebrating after crossing the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. Why
they did it. And the criticism they're receiving coming up.
Also ahead, the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians now moves to the football pitch. We'll tell you who is confident of a win.
[11:15:46] ASHER: Joint Iraqi forces are regaining some territory lost to ISIS around the city of Ramadi. They've retaken towns between
Ramadi and a key military base to the east. Iraqi security forces are getting significant help from an Iranian-backed Shia paramilitary group.
Sunni tribesmen are also backing up the fight, but many appear to be under equipped.
You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World with me Zain Asher in for Becky Anderson. Welcome back.
Well, many different groups are fighting ISIS, it's unclear how much trust they have in each other. Iraq's Vice President Ayad Allawi sat down
with CNN's John Defterios and shared his thoughts on what needs to be done to push ISIS back and how a lack of reconciliation is making the battle
AYAD ALLAWI, VICE PRESIDENT OF IRAQ: I would like to see special forces acting, hitting the command and control establishments of ISIS. I
would like to see the support of resistance forces within the areas that have been occupied by ISIS. I would like to see troops who will move and
capture the land and remain in the land not leaving it for ISIS to come and attack it again. And I would definitely look at the Syrian theater and the
Iraqi theater as one, not two theaters and tackle both theaters at the same time because in fact Anbar border Syria and there is an open wide desert
there and people are moving left, right and center across borders.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: We're in the situation right now where the military mix of Shiite militiamen backed by Iranian troops,
won't that make reconciliation almost impossible after this?
ALLAWI: It will definitely make it almost impossible. It is already very difficult and it hasn't been achieved reconciliation. And that's why
I think and I believe that this is contributing to where we are today to the political environment in a negative way.
I believe that this will -- may affect ISIS, but it will cause some further complications in the future.
DEFTERIOS: There's some question whether the Iraqi army itself wants to fight this battle. You see ISIS march in and in many cases the Iraqi
army backs off.
ALLAWI: Well, unfortunately the Iraqi army -- you see, the whole issue is an issue of management of the conflict. And the issue of
management we are seeing, we are not up to the challenge yet, because we haven't achieved the most important pieces on the ground. We haven't
achieved the complete reconciliation. We haven't achieved establishing an army with a chain of command which is clear with an identity which is
DEFTERIOS: Has this gone on for too long where Iran's exercising too much influence over Iraqi affairs and the prime minister has let this
ALLAWI: Well, Iran is exercising area of interferences not only in Iraq's affairs, but in the other regional countries also. And we are
seeing what's happening in Yemen, in Syria and Lebanon and so on, and definitely in Iraq.
And we would like to see positive attitude from Iran without interfering in the internal matters, but supporting the overall effort
DEFTERIOS: After ISIS has retaken Ramadi, are you certain ISIS can't march in to Baghdad as we speak today?
ALLAWI: I think that Baghdad will be very difficult. It's very difficult to swallow. There will be serious and severe resistance in
Baghdad. And I think that even when -- in Ramadi itself it's not the end of the story now.
ASHER: That was Ayad Allawi speaking to our John Defterios there.
Well, U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is also speaking publicly for the first time since Ramadi fell last week. He's blaming the poor
state of Iraq's military as a major reason for why ISIS for the captured city fell to ISIS.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:20:00] ASHTON CARTER, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: What apparently happened was that the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight. They were
not outnumbered, but in fact they vastly outnumbered the opposing force, and yet they failed to fight. And that says to me, and I think to most of
us, that we have an issue with the will of the Iraqis to fight ISIL and defend themselves.
Now, we can give them training. We can give them equipment. We obviously can't give them the will to fight. But if we give them training,
we give them equipment and give them support and give them some time, I hope they will develop the will to fight, because only if they fight can
ISIL remain defeated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: That was Ashton Carter there.
Now you can of course learn a little bit more about the ISIS offensive in Iraq by going to our website CNN.com. I'm sure you know it by now. We
have the latest on the IRaq counterattack against the militants. Why its gains are important and what makes them able to keep advancing. That is
all of course on our website. You can see it there, CNN.com.
In the meantime, coming up next on Connect the World. Same-sex civil unions will soon be legal in Chile, but that's not enough for couples
wanting to start families.
Also ahead, Palestinians renew their drive to ban Israel from international football. We'll explain why.
ASHER: Welcome back everyone. You're watching Connect the World with me Zain Asher in for Becky Anderson.
We start with football. Palestinian football officials say they are confident they will win a vote to suspend Israel from world football. The
FIFA head Sepp Blatter met with both sides last week in a bid to diffuse tensions. The Palestinians say they still plan to seek a vote this week.
Here's our Oren Liebermann with more.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNAITONAL CORRESPONDENT: The beautiful game has become the latest playing field between Israelis and Palestinians, a
world sport turned into a regional conflict. The Palestinians want Israel suspended from FIFA and they want a vote at the FIFA congress.
JIBRIL RAQOUB, PALESTINIAN FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION: We are not interfering in the business of the Israeli football federation. This
proposal is due, the acts and (inaudible) of the Israeli football federation with regards to the obligations toward FIFA rules and
LIEBERMANN: The Palestinian Football Association objects to Israeli teams in the West Bank. They also say Israel restricts movements of
The Israel Football Association says that's a question of security, which it has no control over.
Association president Ofer Eini says football can bring these two sides together instead of forcing them apart.
"We will continue helping the Palestinian association," he says. "We will extend a hand to them if football is to be the unifying thing. I
embrace them, because I want football to flourish there just like I want it to flourish here."
Overseeing this political sport, FIFA President Sepp Blatter who says the world's most popular sport could be a bridge for peace. In a visit to
the region, Blatter met with both sides' football associations and political leaders to find a solution. He suggested a match between the
national teams in Zurich.
[11:25:02] SEPP BLATTER, FIFA PRESIDENT: Football has the power to connect people. Football has the power to construct bridges. And I am
coming here to try to construct bridges and to try to make sure that football is not dividing, but football is uniting.
LIEBERMANN: Blatter opposes the vote that would be at the next FIFA congress scheduled for the end of the month, but he says it's within the
Palestinian Association's right to call for it. He says Israel follows all the FIFA rules and he doesn't want to see a national team removed. The
vote would require 75 percent of FIFA 209 member associations to suspend Israel.
When Blatter was asked what he thought the outcome of the vote would be, he said I'm not a prophet.
Oren Liebermann, CNN, Jerusalem.
ASHER: Many thanks to our Oren Liebermann for that.
They're mostly known for being former Soviet Republics and rich with natural resources. But, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are
pushing to become the centers of the sports world. All this week, Amanda Davies will take us on a tour of these central Asian countries as part of
the CNN series sport's new frontier. Here's a preview of her time in Turkmenistan, one of the most closed countries in the world. Take a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: This is not a place anyone, nevermind journalists, can just turn up to. We were there as part of an
international sports media forum in the lead-up to the games.
Hi, I'm Amanda Davies. I'm a sports anchor from CNN.
The warmest welcome, though, wasn't for the guests, but for the address given on behalf of the president.
DAVIES: Thanks to the president was the chant in unison from the men in black, students from the University of Ashgabat. President Gurbanguly
Berdimuhamedow might not have been there in person, but he was undoubtedly there in spirit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: That was just a taste of the CNN series Sport's New Frontier. You can, of course, watch it all this week here on Connect the World at
7:40 in the evening Abu Dhabi time.
The latest world headline news just ahead. Plus, delighted in Dublin as yes voters in Ireland celebrate their historic victory on same-sex
marriage. We talk to an Irish YouTube and radio personality about his personal journey. That's coming up just ahead. Stay with us.
[11:30:16] ASHER: This is Connect the World. The top stories this hour.
Iraqi troops backed by Sunni and Shiite forces have regained some lost territory east of Ramadi. It's all part of a counteroffensive to push ISIS
away from a key military base near Baghdad. ISIS overtook Ramadi a week ago and had been pushing towards the capital city.
Houthi rebels say they've shot down a Saudi fighter jet in Yemen. No confirmation yet from Saudi officials. The report comes as Saudi-led
warplanes continue hitting the Iranian-backed Houthis. Yemen reports nearly 100 airstrikes Sunday in Sanaa.
Police in the U.S. city of Cleveland says 71 people were arrested during overnight protests. Demonstrations began after a judge acquitted a
white police officer in the 2012 shooting deaths of two unarmed black suspects.
Burundi's opposition parties are suspending talks with the government in response to the killing of an opposition party leader. Zedi Feruzi was
gunned down in drive-by shooting in the capital. The gunmen have not yet been identified. Burundi has been in turmoil over the president's decision
to seek a third term.
A group of international activists has crossed the border between North and South Korea in a controversial effort to encourage peace. The
group is called Women Cross DMZ. It includes well known American feminist Gloria Steinem and two Nobel Peace laureates. But this event was
spearheaded by Christine Ahn. She's been called a North Korean sympathizer, this is an allegation that she strongly denies.
Kathy Novak has more on today's crossing.
KATHY NOVAK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they wanted to walk across the border at P'anmunjom. That is a very symbolic place because it is where
the armistice was signed at the end of the Korean War. And it would have been an extraordinary event, because if a regular person tried to cross at
that border without permission they would be shot.
But without permission from the relevant authorities these women instead came across the border by bus near the Kaesong Industrial Complex.
Still, they say, it is a victory that they are sending this message of peace. And they are doing something that ordinary Koreans cannot do, which
is cross that border. So they say it's a victory to get north and south to agree on anything at all.
Critics, though, of this march say that they are not pointing specifically to human rights abuses, but the UN tells us systematically
happened in North Korea.
The women did talk about human rights in general, but not pointing to the torture and the murder and the concentration camps that the UN refer
to. And critics say that by not doing that, these women may have been doing more harm than good.
Kathy Novak, CNN, in Paju (ph) near the DMZ, South Korea.
ASHER: Irish yes voters and gay rights activists are celebrating a landslide win in the country's referendum on same-sex marriage.
The mainly Catholic country is the first in the world to approve gay marriage by popular vote. 62 percent of people voted in favor of changing
the Irish constitution, something that the even the Archbishop of Dublin called a social revolution.
Let's bring in Irish-Iraqi radio host and YouTube personality Riyadh Khalaf for his take on that vote and what it means for Ireland.
First of all, Riyadh, I watched your YouTube videos. I got very emotional listening to your story, what you went through as a child, just
heartbreaking. I do want to ask you, did the results of the referendum surprise you?
KHALAF: I was so nervous about the outcome, because in the lead-up, the weeks to the big vote we were worried about this silent no in the
midlands and the west of the country, people who maybe would say to friends and family that they were going to vote yes, but then once they reached the
polling station were going to quietly put an X in the no box.
Thankfully, that turned out to be false. And 62 percent of this country got behind a change in the constitution and we are so, so happy
Surprised? I guess, a little bit, by how high the yes vote was, but we so appreciate all of the thousands of young and old Irish people that
voted, but also those in particular that traveled home to vote. And the #hometovote was trending in Ireland all day yesterday. I think it still is
now. And the pictures of the queues of these hundreds and thousands of people in Dublin airport coming back into the country just brought a tear
to my eye multiple times yesterday.
ASHER: And you know you have a pretty interesting background. You're half Irish, half Iraqi. There are actually 76 countries around the world
where homosexuality is illegal. What do you hope the global impact of the vote yesterday in Ireland will be?
[11:35:13] KHALAF: Ireland until this point I think has been seen as a very close-minded maybe at times and backwards country with specific
things like gay rights.
This vote has sent a huge message to the world that Ireland has changed. We are living in the 21st Century. We are a country of people
that want to embrace love and embrace diversity. I think if they see the world can see that Ireland can do it anyone can do it.
It was only in 1993 that homosexuality was decriminalized by Senator David Norris and his work and in Europe and that is a big, big change in a
short state of time to go from a place where you could be locked up for being a gay man to being able to marry another gay man.
ASHER: Yeah, it's just incredible to think that how much Ireland has changed in just 20 years that it was illegal to be gay there back in 1993
and now things are obviously very different.
But given that you are half Irish, half Iraqi, explain how the different sides of your family reacted to the fact that you were gay.
KHALAF: I was always terrified of telling my father, because he is an Iraqi man. He grew up as a Muslim and he has a lot of that culture in his
blood. So I kept it from him for a year after I told my mother. Both of us kept that secret. It was very, very difficult. And I thought that if I
came out to him there was a chance that he may attack me or he may kick me out of my house, because these are just stories that you hear.
He didn't take it well at the start, but my goodness he has changed as a person. You know, he was initially worried about what other people would
think and other members of our family. And just members of the public, you know. But what we've done now is we've realized that the only thing that's
important is our family unit, the four of us -- and the dog -- that's it.
ASHER: That's such a good message, exactly. The only thing that matters is your family.
And I watched your video with your dad. And he seemed to be very open and very accepting to the fact that you were gay. He seemed to embrace you
at least. So, thank you so much for being with us, Riyadh. Wish you all the best. And congratulations.
KHALAF: Thank you very much.
ASHER: Iraq's (sic) historical approval of same-sex marriage is providing hope to gay and lesbian couples around the world. In Chile, a
new law takes affect soon allowing civil unions between same-sex couples. But as Rafael Romo explains it leaves out a very important detail for many.
And that is adoption rights.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Jaime Penada (ph) is a man with a dream.
"I would like to be a father before turning 40," Penada (ph) says.
Right now his dream is impossible in Chile where the 37 year old lives.
Penada (ph) is a gay man in a long-term relationship. And even though Chile recently approved civil unions for same-sex couples, adoption rights
are out of the question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We have an adoption law which is very antiquated, because it sets preferences for married Chilean couples
first and then foreign couples followed by single people. Homosexual people are not even included on the list.
ROMO: President Michelle Bachelet signed the civil unions law in April calling it a historic moment for Chile.
MICHELLE BACHELET, CHILEAN PRESIDENT (through translator): This law recognizes the right of couples living together regardless of their sexual
preference. It validates them and it's also an achievement in the struggle for sexual diversity rights.
ROMO: Gay rights activists say even though the new law is an important step it doesn't go far enough. And they're already organizing
for their next goal: legalizing same-sex marriage in Chile and adoption rights for same-sex couples in civil unions, something that the current law
Conservative legislators say the constitution defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman and should be limited to heterosexual
JACQUELINE VAN RYSSELBERGHE, CHILEAN SENATOR (through translator): As it was conceptualized and stipulated by our laws, that what marriage is,
something where procreation of children can happen, a union of a couple with the potential to become parents. And I believe that potential be kept
between a man and a woman.
ROMO: For Jaime Penada (ph) and other gay rights activists marriage is a right regardless of sexual preference.
"We will not be satisfied until there's full equality for everybody," Penada (ph) says.
Several same-sex marriage bills have been introduced, but none with the real possibility of becoming law, which means for now Penada's (ph)
dream of becoming a father will remain just that, a dream.
Rafael Romo, CNN, Santiago, Chile.
[11:40:14] ASHER: Many thanks to Rafael Romo for that.
So what are your thoughts on the adoption laws in Chile, or same-sex marriage in Ireland? You can let us know. You can always follow our
stories, stories that the team is working on throughout the day by going to our Facebook page Facebook.com/CNNConnect. And to get in touch, you can
always tweet me @ZainAsher. I do love hearing from all of you.
And in tonight's Parting Shots, there is celebration in Sweden for native son Man Zelmerlow's victory in the 60th Eurovision song contest. He
beat 26 other finalists for the top spot with his song heroes. Here is a look at some of the highlights from Saturday's program.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the winner is Sweden: Man Zelmerlow.
ASHER: Wow, what a party. Congrats to Mans.
I'm Zain Asher. That was Connect the World. Thanks you so much for watching.