Chilean Congress on Tuesday passed a bill recognizing the legal right of same-sex couples to marry.
Both the Senate and the lower house voted overwhelmingly in favor of the measure.
The law’s passage on Tuesday was hailed by advocacy groups, equal marriage rights advocates and same-sex couples.
Ramon Lopez told AFP news agency at the gates of Congress that he was waiting for the law to pass before he could marry his 21-year-old partner.
âIt’s something very important,â Lopez said, adding, âYou really feel worthy as a human being, as a person. It opens the doors and breaks all of that prejudice.â
After the vote, Chilean Minister of Social Development Karla Rubilar said it was “one more step in terms of justice, in terms of equality, recognizing that love is love” .
Conservative Chile interim bill
Passage of the bill marks a milestone for the conservative Latin American nation.
Former President Michelle Bachelet first introduced the measure in 2017.
Civil unions have been allowed in Chile since 2015.
President Sebastian Pinera is backing the bill and is expected to sign it before stepping down in March.
The new law granting same-sex couples who wish to marry the same rights as heterosexual couples will come into force 90 days after the bill is published in Chile’s official gazette.
It also means that same-sex couples with children will see both parents benefit from full legal recognition.
With the passage of the bill, Chile joins more than 20 countries around the world, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica and Uruguay in Latin America, to legalize same-sex marriage.
Progressive vs Conservative in Chile
Chile faces a decisive second round for the presidential election on December 19. The Chileans will choose between progressive candidate Gabriel Boric and conservative Jose Antonio Kast.
Despite a long-standing reputation for upholding conservative values, most Chileans support same-sex marriage rights.
In what is seen as a nod to centrist voters, Tory candidate Kast said he would have passed the bill had he been president.
In recent years, Chileans have indicated a left turn on social and cultural issues.
ar / wmr (AFP, Reuters)