After years of struggle, Chile’s Congress is to legalize same sex marriage and adoption of children. Chile is on the verge of celebration as President Sebastian Pinera who will leave office in the month of march has now backed the bill and is expected to sign the bill into law. M Pinera’s support came as a surprise to everyone as he long back argued that marriage is a union of a man and a women. With this, Chile have become the 31st nation in Latin America and sixth nation in south America to legalize same sex marriage along with Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica and Uruguay. The first country in the world to legalize same sex marriage was the Netherlands, exactly 20 years ago.
The chamber of deputies, the lower house of congress, passed the bill with 82 votes in favor, 20 against, and 2 abstentions. the bill had already been approved by Chile’s senate.
Millions of citizens in Chile had took over the streets in 2019 in protests that culminated in a vote to scrap the constitution, a document inherited from Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s authoritarianism, and rewrite the laws that frames the nation.
Earlier, the bill was sent back by the senate to a committee or ambiguities the bill was first introduced in the year 2017 supported by the then president Michelle Baklet. The legislation is a sharp shift in policies in Chile which for long has had a very conservative reputation. Civil Unions have been permitted in Chile since 2015 which allowed for same sex partners. But not all benefits of married couples like the right to adoption had been permitted for them.
some of the leading candidates of the upcoming elections in Chile , like Gabriel Boric and Jose Antonio Kast are of the opinion that as per their convictions, marriage is between a man and a woman. Therefore, they cant agree with this new law.
While, Pinera said in June,
“I think the time has come for equal marriage in our country. in this way all people without distinguishing by sexual orientation, will be able to live, love and form a family with all the protection and dignity that they need and deserve.”
However fighting for equality in marriage is still going on in many countries. there are some countries which still criminalize same sex relations. But at the same time, there are people belonging to the LGBTQ community who are unable to choose a life with their beloved ones even in the countries where there is a legal framework for the queer relationships, due to the constraints from religious community or conservative family members.