Chile Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

By Darby Jones December 8, 2021
In a historic vote, the conservative South American country passed legislation to legalize same-sex marriage, making Chile the 31st nation in the world to do so.

Lawmakers in Chile passed a law to legalize same-sex marriage on Tuesday, marking a milestone for the conservative South American country at a crucial political moment as the county grapples with overwhelming demands for social change. The nation has endured a decade-long political battle regarding same-sex marriage, and this legislation makes Chile the 31st nation to allow gay marriage.

“Today is a historic day, our country has approved same-sex marriage, one more step forward in terms of justice, in terms of equality, recognizing that love is love,” Minister of Social Development Karla Rubilar said after the vote.

Chile’s Senate and lower house of parliament both voted heavily in favor of the bill, which was partially approved in November before the Senate sent it back to a committee to clarify ambiguities.

The nation’s current president, Sebastian Piñera, has backed the bill and is expected to sign it into law before leaving office in March. “I think the time has come for equal marriage in our country,” Piñera said in June, “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.”

Chile will elect a new president on Dec. 19, choosing between progressive Gabriel Boric and social conservative Jose Antonio Kast, a practicing Catholic. While Kast disagrees with same-sex marriage, he says he would have signed the bill into law anyway had it been passed during his potential presidency.

Image source: NPR