• New York Times: Lawmakers in Chile have approved marriage equality legislation by a wide margin. The South American nation will become the 31st country in the world to legalize same-sex marriages. President Sebastián Piñera is expected to sign the bill into law soon.
Chile’s government will begin debate today on whether to change existing marriage laws to include same-sex couples.
On August 28 President Michelle Bachelet introduced legislation that would define marriage as ‘a solemn contract by which two people, of the same or different sex, unite themselves, and for life, in order to live together, to procreate and to help each other.’
Chile’s Senate Constitution Committee has called on LGBT advocacy groups to step up and make their case for marriage equality.
Since 2015, Chile has extended limited legal recognition of same-sex couples via civil unions.
Bachelet also supports efforts to strengthen hate crime and anti-discrimination law against the LGBTQ community as well as legislation that would allow transgender Chileans to legally change their names without requiring sex reassignment surgery – although the bill on transgender protections has stalled due to a lack of political will.
But time is of the essence as Bachelet will step down in March 2018, and one of the two leading candidates to replace Bachelet does not support marriage rights for same-sex couples.
Currently, only Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay have legalized same-sex marriage in South America.
On Saturday, over 100,000 marched in support of marriage equality in Santiago, Chile.
Tyson Beckford and the Chippendales (click to enlarge)
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• Chilean President Michelle Bachelet plans to send a bill to Congress later this year that will legalize same-sex marriage in her country. South America currently celebrates marriage equality in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Uruguay.
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• A North Carolina minister is accused of kidnapping and assaulting a gay parishioner. The 23 year-old victim says he was slapped, punched, choked and screamed at for two hours in an effort to exorcise his “homosexual demons.”
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After receiving final approval in January, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet signed into law today a bill that legalizes civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.
Bachelet — who publicly supports marriage rights for same-sex couples — signed the measure less than two weeks after the Chilean Constitutional Court upheld it. Her government earlier this year announced it would no longer oppose nuptials for gays and lesbians in a lawsuit before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that three same-sex couples filed in 2012.
Chile joins Colombia and Ecuador in legalizing civil unions in South America, while same-sex marriage is legal in Argentina, Brazil, French Guiana, and Uruguay.