Chile’s President passes same-sex marriage bill to congress
Chile’s president, Michelle Bachelet, has sent a same-sex marriage bill to congress.
The bill was proposed in 2015 as the country begins to enforce a number of liberal reforms.
When it was proposed, Bachelet had pledged to send a full bill to legislators before the year was up.
Speaking outside of La Moneda presidential palace, she said that the bill was crucial for the country to move forward.
“We do this with the certainty that it is not ethical nor fair to put artificial limits on love, nor to deny essential rights just because of the sex of those who make up a couple,” Bachelet said.
Chile is following other south American countries in legalising same-sex marriage.
Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Mexico all legalised it in recent years.
Although Bachelet has managed to get the bill into congress, it is uncertain if it will pass before the elections in November.
As well as a same-sex marriage bill, the Chilean government is set to pass a law which will alleviate the current illegal status on abortion.
The law will allow abortions in a limited number of cases.
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Bachelet said earlier this year in her State of the Union address in the port city of Valparaiso that she would send a bill to the Chilean Congress in the second half of 2017, with the aim of allowing marriage between same-sex couples.
The left-of-centre leader returned to the presidency in 2014, having previously served between 2006 and 2010.
Same-sex couples have been able to enter into civil unions since 2015, when the bill was approved by 86 legislators in the Chamber of Deputies, with only 23 voting against it (and two abstentions).
The country has introduced hate-crime laws based on sexual orientation and gender identity in response to the murder of Daniel Zamudio in 2012.
24-year-old Zamudio was a gay man who was beaten and carved with swastikas, sparking a national outcry and galvanizing Chile’s LGBT community.