‘Love is love:’ Chile legalizes same-sex marriage in historic vote

Chile's Senate votes on same-sex marriage bill during a session in Valparaiso
People react outside the National Assembly as the Senate votes to pass a same-sex marriage bill in Valparaiso, Chile December 7, 2021. REUTERS / Rodrigo Garrido

December 7, 2021

By Fabian Cambero

China’s parliament passed a law legalizing same-sex marriage on Tuesday, in a major milestone for the conservative South American nation after a decade-long legal battle and the country is getting ready. delicately ahead of this month’s crossroads elections.

“Today is a historic day, our country passed same-sex marriage, taking another step towards justice, equality, recognizing that love is love,” said Minister of Social Development Karla. Rubilar spoke after the vote.

The Chilean Senate and lower house both voted in favor of the bill on Tuesday, which had previously been partially passed in November before the Senate sent it back to a committee to clear up ambiguities.

Current President Sebastian Pinera, who will leave office in March, has backed the bill and is expected to sign it into law.

The vote culminated in a process that began in 2017, when the first bill was introduced, with the backing of then-President Michelle Bachelet. Chile is now ready to join more than 20 countries globally where same-sex marriage is legal, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica and Uruguay in Latin America.

Rolando Jimenez from LGBT rights group Movilh, one of the main supporters of the bill and has helped Chile push for the legalization of same-sex marriage for more than a decade, said: “It is hard to believe that today we are doing it. do this step.

Chile will elect a new president on December 19, choosing between progressive Gabriel Boric and socially conservative Jose Antonio Kast, a practicing Catholic. The two offer radically different visions of the country’s future.

While Kast disagrees with same-sex marriage, he has said he would sign the bill into law anyway if it were passed by Congress during his potential presidency.

Chile has long enjoyed a conservative reputation even when compared with its Catholic Latin American counterparts. However, the majority of Chileans now support same-sex marriage, and Chileans have shown signs of turning to social and cultural issues in recent years.

Civil unions have been allowed in Chile since 2015, giving many same-sex partners but not all the benefits of married couples, like adoption rights.

The law, which will take effect 90 days after its publication in the Official Gazette, has been promoted by rights groups and couples, opening the door for both parents in same-sex couples to be fully recognized. legally sufficient.

“This is reason for Chilean society to celebrate,” said Isabel Amor, executive director of the equality group Iguales.

“It’s not just people who are in a same-sex relationship that will be able to get married, but hundreds of children and teenagers will be able to recognize two mothers or two fathers.”

(Reporting by Fabian Cambero Editing by Mark Heinrich and Alistair Bell) ‘Love is love:’ Chile legalizes same-sex marriage in historic vote


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