The Chilean President on Monday sent a bill to Congress to legalize gay marriage and to allow homosexual couples to adopt children, another step in progressive social reform that has been registered in recent years in what is One of the most conservative countries in Latin America.
The bill proposed by Michele Bachelet also indicates that marriage is a “union between two people” and not “between a man and a woman” as defined so far in Chilean legislation.
In March, the center-left ruler had already promised to send this legislation to Congress in an attempt to see it approved before the end of this year. However, it is not yet clear whether it will be able to garner sufficient support from lawmakers to get the law moving forward and implemented before it leaves power in March 2018.
In recent years, Chile has adopted a series of measures to promote gender equality, gaining prominence on the international scene by the enormous social turn. In 2012, Congress passed an anti-discrimination and anti-hate law to protect vulnerable people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity in the wake of the homicide of Daniel Zamudio, a gay young man who was beaten to death And whose assailants carved swastikas across his body.
Two and a half years ago, in January 2015, the Chilean Congress took another step in favor of LGBT rights by approving same-sex civil unions after several years of legislative debates. The following year, Chile was one of the sponsors of a resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council to establish a mandate for the protection of gender minorities.
And last week the country took another step towards gender equality, with the Supreme Court giving a green light to a bill passed in July that allows for voluntary termination of pregnancy in limited cases (so far, Chile was One of the few countries in the world that maintained abortion under any circumstances, even in the event of rape, misrepresentation of the fetus or risks to life for the woman).