Chile legalises same-sex marriage and adoption
A landslide vote has granted marriage equality and adoption to same-sex couples in Chile.
On Tuesday, both houses of Chile's Congress passed the measure with overwhelming majorities. It is now the eighth Latin-American country to legalise same-sex marriage and 31st worldwide.
The motion was first presented by President Michelle Bachelet in 2017, but current conservative President Sebastián Piñera had opposed the legislation for years. Six months ago, he changed his stance on the issue, paving the way for Congress to act.
"I think the time has come to guarantee that freedom and that dignity to all people," Piñera said back in June "I think the time has come for marriage equality in our country."
Chile had recognised same-sex civil unions since 2015. Now, legalising same-sex marriage will provide equal rights to same-sex couples, such as the right to adopt children.
It also means gendered terms would be replaced with the words “spouse” and “parent” in the country’s civil code and other laws.
Piñera's is set to sign the legislation into law before his presidential term ends in 2022. Current presidential candidates are José Antonio Kast and Gabriel Boric.
Kast, whose agenda is of the traditionalist right-wing nature, won the majority of votes in November's first round vote, which caused many LGBTQ+ people to fear. He has previously stated that “society works best with heterosexual couples” and openly opposed the Gender Identity Bill 2018, which gave legal protections to trans people.
“Marriage equality is a ray of sunshine, a bit of hope,” said Isabel Amor, Director of the Gay Rights organisation Iguales, before adding that the LGBTQ+ community is in a “very fragile emotional state” right now with the threat of a Kast presidency.
“We have to ask what we will lose if he gets the presidency," he added.