July 13, 2011
Chile set to legalise same-sex unions, Uruguay pushes for marriage
The Chilean government is preparing to pass legislation that would recognise the legal rights of same-sex couples who have been co-habiting for more than a year, a firm step towards legalising civil unions for gay couples in the country.
Following up on his pre-election manifesto promise to address the issue, President Sebastian Piñera last month told El Mercurio that he planned to safeguard “the dignity of those couples, whether of the opposite or even the same sex.”
Now, national paper La Tercera claims to have obtained documents that explain the proposed law, which will be taken to Congress next week, and looks likely to pass.
The debate surrounding same-sex partnerships has given rise to heated debates in the predominately Catholic country. If the legislation passes, Chile will join Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador and Uruguay as the fifth South American country to legalise civil unions for gay couples.
Only Argentina grants full marriage rights to same-sex partners, although campaigners from the Collectivo Ovejas Negras (Black Sheep Collective) in Uruguay today released a series of celebrity-filled advertisements, demanding that marriage be made available to all. The videos can be seen here.
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