Chilean President Michelle Bachelet on
Monday introduced a bill that extends marriage rights to gay and
lesbian couples in the South American country.
According to the Washington
Blade, Bachelet introduced the bill at the presidential
palace in the nation's capital of Santiago.
The outlet reported that the bill would
also extend adoption rights to same-sex couples.
Many Bachelet supporters were
disappointed in 2015 when she signed a bill that recognized gay
couples with civil unions, instead of pressing ahead for marriage
equality, as she had pledged to do during her election campaign.
The Bachelet administration in 2016
reached an agreement with Chilean LGBT rights advocate the Movement
for Homosexual Integration and Liberation to introduce a marriage
equality bill after the group filed a lawsuit with the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights on behalf of three gay couples who are
seeking to marry in Chile.
On January 20, Bachelet announced that
her government had started a process to introduce such a bill, which
she promised to send to Congress before the end of June.
“The process will allow the country
to generate a satisfactory bill on marriage equality, recognizing the
same rights for everyone,” she said at the time.
While polls show that a majority (64%)
of Chileans support marriage equality, conservative groups and the
majority Roman Catholic church strongly oppose a change in the law.