Chile Just Legalized Same-Sex Marriage

Chile Just Legalized Same-Sex Marriage

By an overwhelming majority, lawmakers in Chile voted to legalize same-sex marriage on Tuesday.

Chile has became the 31st nation to legalize same-sex marriage after the nation’s congress approved a bill on Tuesday, December 7, clearing a way for it to become a law. The bill past with 82 votes in favor, 20 against, and 2 abstentions.

The passing of the bill is catching up with the nation’s public opinion. In May of 2021 a public poll that asked about whether same-sex marriage or other legal recognition should be turned into law, resulted in 82% of the public saying yes.

This followed by a surprising move of President Sebastián Piñera in June. The long-opposed same-sex marriage President, suddenly came out in favor of it, urging Congress to prioritize legalization, which obviously moved everything forward.

Chile has legally recognized same-sex civil unions since 2015.

The new law granting same-sex couples who wish to marry the same rights as heterosexual couples will come into effect 90 days after the bill is published in Chile’s official gazette. It also means same-sex couples with children will see both parents receive full legal recognition.

Chile, that is mostly known for producing telenovelas, has undergone a process of openness towards homosexuality from 2000 in terms of visibility on television. In recent years, telenovelas have become main mechanisms by which Chilean television has made gay and lesbian identities visible. Nevertheless, it is considered a rather conservative nation in Latin America, and this is why the bill passage is considered a milestone.

Famous gay celebrities in Chile celebrated yesterday, while local magazines dubbed the day ‘historic.’ ” Thankful to be alive to see that my country advances with rights that include everyone equally,” wrote famous photographer and TV Host Jordi Castell on Instahram. “To each of those who voted in favor of #equalmarriage, thank you very much for collaborating with all those families that need to validate themselves and protect themselves against the law. Maximum emotion. Viva Chile!” 

“Victory! History proved us right,” Jaime Parada Hoyl, the first openly gay politician in Chile (since 2012) wrote. “The world advanced and the conservatives could no longer hold that world that despised us. Today Chile is a better country. A hug for everyone!”