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Chile gives final approval to same-sex civil unions

Joseph McCormick January 29, 2015

Politicians in Chile have given final approval to a bill recognising civil unions between gay and lesbian couples.

A bill to allow the unions was approved by 86 legislators in the Chamber of Deputies last week, with only 23 voting against it, and two abstentions.

The bill, having been given final approval by lawmakers, will go to President Michelle Bachelet. The President is expected to sign the bill, the passage of which was described by a spokesman for the Government Alvaro Elizalde as “a breakthrough that we are proud of as a government.”

Last week Elizalde said: “This is a law that does not discriminate and it gives protection to all couples and families in the country.”

LGBT activists in Chile still call for same-sex marriage to be legalised, but many have welcomed the step in the right direction that is civil unions.

The new bill allows couples, among other things, to inherit each other’s property, join their partner’s health plan and receive pension benefits.

Chile is among a handful of South American countries to recognise same-sex civil unions. Argentina and Uruguay allow same-sex marriage.

More: Americas, Chile

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