Chilean President Michelle Bachelet is
making good on a campaign promise to introduce a gay marriage bill.
The 62-year-old Bachelet, who served as
the country's first female leader between 2006 and 2010, returned to
power last week.
Bachelet campaigned on a progressive
platform, promising to carry out reforms such as free post-secondary
education, legalizing abortion and opening discussions on same-sex
Justice Minister Jose Antonio Gomez has
proposed legislation which would make Chile only the fourth South
American country behind Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay to allow gay
couples to marry.
“It is a controversial and debatable
told a House committee on Tuesday. “However, we are certain
that it is necessary to present and discuss in Parliament.”
The Senate in Chile earlier this year
overwhelmingly approved a bill which would establish a legal contract
called the Life Partner Agreement, which would give gay and straight
couples many of the benefits and obligations of marriage.