Chile's Congress Tuesday passed the bill making it the eighth Latin American country where same-sex marriage is legal, after Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and in several states of Mexico.
After completing all parliamentary requirements, the bill is now up to President Sebastián Piñera to be signed into law.
The new law provides for changes to the Civil Code, the Labor Code, and the laws regarding child adoption. It also introduces the gender identity issue, which is henceforth recognized and protected.
The initiative received 82 favorable votes, 20 against and two abstentions in the Lower House. The House supports in the last step the bill that regulates, under equal conditions, the marriage of same-sex couples, it was officially announced.
The Lower House had passed the bill in November with 101 votes in favor, 30 against and 2 abstentions, but some reforms were introduced by the Senate earlier Tuesday regarding filiation, labor rights, and the updating of the gender identity law, after which it was sent back to the Deputies for reevaluation. The Upper House approved the bill with 21 votes in favor, 8 against and 3 abstentions.
This project had reached Congress four years ago under then-President Michelle Bachelet, who wanted same-sex couples to go beyond a Civil Union Agreement and speak of marriage.
According to the new text, parenthood of a child born by the application of assisted human reproduction techniques will be determined with respect to the two people who have undergone them.
New changes were also introduced regarding the rights of working mothers and fathers to the pregnant woman and her partner.
The bill establishes that marriage is a solemn contract whereby two people unite currently and indissolubly, and for life, in order to live together, to procreate, and to help each other.
Piñera had announced in June that he would urge same-sex marriage to be approved before the end of his term.
Same-sex marriage is legal in 35 countries or territories worldwide, mostly in the Americas and in Western Europe.
First to clear the way for same-sex marriage were the Netherlands, Belgium, and Canada. Costa Rica was until now the last country to legalize it, on May 26, 2020.
In Switzerland, despite the fact that Parliament legalized equal marriage in December 2020, its approval was left up to a referendum held last September where the ayes carried 64% of the votes.
Italy, Greece and Liechtenstein are still among the countries which have not yet been legalized. South Africa remains the only African country on the list while no country in Central and Eastern Europe has followed suit to date.