Chile’s Senate Approves Gay Marriage Bill; Only One Step Remains
Chilean senators approved a long-awaited law enabling same-sex marriage on Wednesday, in what LGBT activists hope would be the final step toward final approval.
Chile, which legalized same-sex civil partnerships in 2015, has been waiting for this bill since then-President Michelle Bachelet sent it to legislature in 2017.
Sebastian Pinera, her conservative successor, indicated last year that he would pursue the bill’s urgent passage through parliament, and the senate approved it by a vote of 28 to 14 on Wednesday.
The law will now be referred to the Chamber of Deputies, Congress’ second chamber, for final approval.
“We want to progress toward a country with other ideals, one that advances in justice and eliminates all sorts of discrimination,” said Yasna Provoste, a Christian Democrat who voted in favor of the law.
However, Manuel Jose Ossandon of Pinera’s conservative National Renovation party argued that “marriage is in its essence a union between a man and a woman with the possibility of procreation, whereas same-sex relations fall into a different category, as they do not have this option to procreate,” and that “same-sex relations fall into a different category, as they do not have this option to procreate.”
The bill proposes that Chile’s marriage statute, which currently exclusively applies to heterosexual unions, be amended to include same-sex couples in the same rights as heterosexual couples, including adoption.
“When the bill is passed, the concept of first- and second-grade couples will no longer exist in our country,” said Oscar Rementeria, a spokesman for the Movilh LGBTI rights movement.
According to a 2020 study by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, same-sex marriage is legal in six United Nations member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as numerous states in Mexico (ILGA).
Argentina, Chile’s neighbor, added a third gender option to national identity cards and passport applications on Wednesday.
According to a notification issued in the official gazette, any candidate who does not identify as male or female can click a third box that will include a variety of alternatives, including non-binary, unspecified, and undefined.
At a ceremony to commemorate the move, President Alberto Fernandez said, “The government should not care about the gender of its citizens.” He was issuing the first three identity certificates that used the new choice.
Argentina has also recently implemented a quota for transgender civil servants.