The Senate of Chile approved the bill to legalize equal marriage, a historic demand of the LGTBI movement that has yet to overcome in the coming weeks another vote in the Chamber of Deputies for its entry into force.
By a vast majority, the senators gave the green light to the legislative initiative that allows adoption and filiation in same-sex couples, unlike the Civil Union Agreement (AUC), the legal figure that has been in force since 2015.
“It is not a right or left issue, it is not anyone’s ideological workhorse, it has to do with the dignity and human rights of children,” said Rolando Jiménez, activist of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (Movilh ).
For Isabel Amor, executive director of Fundación Iguales, equal marriage makes Chile more dignified and protects the children of same-sex couples accordingly.
The project, presented at the end of the second term of the former socialist president Michelle Bachelet (2014-2018) and stalled for more than four years, was resumed on June 15 at the request of the Chilean ruler, the conservative Sebastián Piñera.
In January 2020, the Chilean Senate decided to approve the idea of legislating the project, but did not advance in its articulation in the face of the fierce opposition of the conservative parties that make up the ruling coalition.
Giving a turn to his position on equal marriage and against what some of his government partners defend, Piñera surprisingly asked the legislators during his last public account to treat the project with “urgency”, a mechanism that allows to speed up its processing and to which he had refused in 2019.
If approved, Chile would become the eighth country in the region to approve it after Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, Ecuador, Costa Rica and several Mexican states.
“We should assume with conviction that when the right to marry and build a family is recognized, these conditions must be for all people, without distinction of sex,” said the president of the Upper House, the Christian Democrat opponent Yasna Provoste.
According to a recent Ipsos poll, 65% of Chileans believe gay marriage should be allowed, which places Chile as the second most supported Latin American country, only behind Argentina (73%).