Chile looks to legalise gay marriage and allows LGBT couples to adopt as historic new bill signed

'We can’t let old prejudices be stronger than love,' President Michelle Bachelet says

Eva Vergara
Tuesday 29 August 2017 14:39
Comments
Chile's President Michelle Bachelet holds up a portfolio containing her signed proposal for a same-sex marriage bill at La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago
Chile's President Michelle Bachelet holds up a portfolio containing her signed proposal for a same-sex marriage bill at La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has introduced a bill to legalise gay marriage, the latest in a series of recent reforms in a country long regarded as one of Latin America’s most socially conservative.

Bachelet signed the proposal, which will be sent to lawmakers, at a ceremony in the presidential palace. She said the measure seeks to expand the definition of marriage between a man and a woman and would also expand rights for gay couples, allowing them to adopt children.

“We can’t let old prejudices be stronger than love,” Bachelet said.

Chile approved civil unions for same-sex couples in 2015 and decriminalised gay sex in 1999. The bill comes a week after Chile’s Constitutional Court upheld a measure that would end the country’s absolute ban on abortions.

Civil unions have been recognised in several South American countries, though only Argentina and Uruguay have codified same-sex marriage. Gay marriage has also been legalised in Brazil and Colombia under court rulings.

It’s unlikely Bachelet will be able to push the measure through Congress before she ends her term in March 2018. But gay right advocates celebrated the decision as an important step toward full rights.

“It’s the beginning of the end of discrimination based on sexual orientation to access marriage,” said Luis Larrain, founder of the Iguales Foundation.

“This day will be remembered as much as the day when women were granted the right to vote, slaves were freed or children born out of wedlock were granted the same rights.”

AP

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in