Chilean Senator Andres Allamand
announced Tuesday he will introduce a bill that recognizes gay
couples with civil unions.
The Latin American website
InfoSurHoy.com is reporting that the bill would give both gay and
straight couples all the rights and obligations of marriage.
Allamand's party, Renovacion National
(RN), has already endorsed the package of laws called Acuerdo de Vida
en Comun (AVC). Under the proposal, marriage would remain a
Members of Chile's largest political
party in the Senate, Union Democrata Independiente (UDI), however,
are divided over the legislation. Several are not interested in
voting on the controversial measure so close to elections in August.
But recently elected Chilean President
Sebastian Pinera has backed the measure.
“It will neither undermine nor weaken
the institution of marriage, nor will it create a covert type of gay
marriage,” he said. “Rather, it will resolve real problems that
people are experiencing.”
Pinera campaigned for the nation's top
job as an independent but leads the Coalition for Change political
block, which includes both the UDI and RN parties. Pinera is
considered a right-wing politician, but he has embraced gay rights.
A Pinera campaign advertisement included two gay men.
Senate is expected to vote on a gay marriage bill in July.