Michelle Bachelet on Thursday reiterated her support for gay marriage.

The 62-year-old Bachelet is seeking a second term in office after returning to Chile following two years in New York, where she headed the United Nations' women's agency.

“I have publicly stated that I am in favor of marriage equality,” said Bachelet after meeting with representatives of several LGBT groups.

“A law is not enough. Essential yet insufficient,” she added, a reference to a proposed gay-inclusive anti-discrimination bill.

Bachelet's four-year term as president ended in 2010 with the election of conservative President Sebastian Pinera. She remains a popular figure. In contrast, only 26 percent of citizens approve of Pinera's government, according to a recent poll.

In 2011, Pinera introduced a bill to legalize civil unions for gay couples in fulfillment of a campaign promise. But lawmakers have mostly ignored the proposal and activists have criticized it.

According to a 2012 poll, 55 percent of Chileans support marriage equality.

(Related: Uruguay celebrates first public gay marriage.)