The Chilean House of Representatives on
Tuesday approved a bill which seeks to recognize gay and lesbian
couples with civil unions.
According to Chilean daily La
Tercera, the measure cleared the chamber with an 86-23 vote.
The Chilean Senate last October
approved the measure first introduced by former President Sebastián
Piñera in 2011.
Amendments made in the House means the
bill must return to the Senate, which is expected to approve the
bill went nowhere under his administration, it gained momentum after
last year's election of President Michelle Bachelet, who endorsed
marriage equality during her campaign. Lawmakers rallied behind
civil unions in an attempt to cut off a marriage debate. For
example, Senator Ivan Moreira (UDI) called civil unions a “lesser
evil” during a CNN
Last month, Congressman Gabriel Silber
Romo introduced a bill which seeks to make Chile the fourth South
American nation after Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina to legalize
marriage for gay couples. In introducing his bill, Silber said that
securing final approval in parliament of civil unions legislation
remained a priority.
president of the gay rights group Movement for Homosexual Integration
and Liberation (MOVILH), applauded Tuesday's vote.
“We dedicate this day, this moment,
to the gay and lesbian families that have suffered a historic burden
of misunderstanding and prejudices,” Jiménez
said in a statement. “Today it will be the state's turn to
strengthen them and protect them on equal terms.”