A bill which seeks to make Chile the
fourth South American nation after Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina to
allow gay couples to marry was formally introduced on Wednesday.
The measure is backed by a coalition of
lawmakers and the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation
(Movilh), the nation's leading LGBT rights advocate.
“In terms of civil marriage today,
not everyone can marry, which is due to a lack of equality, of
rights,” said Deputy Gabriel Silber (pictured), a Christian
Democrat. “From a legislative point of view, we are called to
bring transparency and opportunity to all.”
The bill seeks to alter the definition
of marriage in Chile's Civil Marriage Act from “between a man and a
woman” to “between two people.”
Silber added that he hopes the
government will back the proposal. President Michelle Bachelet
endorsed marriage equality during her campaign and pledged to open a
discussion on the subject.
A bill which proposed recognizing gay
couples with civil unions cleared the Senate in October. Silber said
that the priority is to secure final approval in Parliament of the
Life Partner Agreement (Acuerdo de Vida en Pareja), or AVP,
insisted that the debate on marriage should begin now.