LGBT rights activists in Chile are celebrating the civil union of an openly gay uniformed policeman.

Hugo Alcalde is the first member of Santiago's police force to take advantage of Chile's new law allowing gay couples to enter civil partnerships.

Lawmakers approved the legislation last year and it took effect in October.

(Related: Law allowing civil unions for gay couples takes effect in Chile.)

Alcalde and Jose Luis Valdes celebrated their civil union with friends and family on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

“To let everyone know that you're gay isn't easy, but if you have the support of friends, family and the people that you know, there's no problem,” he said.

“It's a weight off your shoulders,” he added.

Rolando Jimenez of the Chilean LGBT rights group Movilh called the union a milestone.

“So, this is an historic milestone, and we thank and value the bravery of this first officer to publicly take this stand,” Jimenez said.