Gustavo Hasbun, an UDI member of
Chile's House of Representatives who last week along with colleague
Gonzalo Arenas introduced a bill to amend Chile's Constitution to ban
gay marriage, says he acted because he fears a proposed civil unions
bill could lead to full marriage for gay and lesbian couples in
Last week, President Sebastian Pinera
sent to Congress a bill that would grant gay and lesbian couples many
of the rights and benefits of marriage. The Life Partner Agreement
(Acuerdo de Vida en Pareja or AVP) would allow gay and straight
couples who have lived together for more than one year to enter the
The president signed his bill to the
cheers of gay rights activists, but angry leaders of his center-right
coalition, which includes the Independent Democrat Union (Union
Democrata Independiente or UDI) Party, refused to attend the signing
Two days later, on Thursday, Hasbun and
Arenas introduced their measure.
an interview with ADN Radio Chile, Hasbun said he supported
Pinera's AVP bill, but then added that the amendment was needed
because civil unions approach marriage.
“It is not necessary to create this
parallel institution because this will weaken, in one way or another,
marriage,” Hasbun said.
“I think a civil registration is no
different today than a marriage in disguise. And that creates a lot
of concern. And basically that's why I introduced the constitutional
reform to ensure that marriage remains between heterosexual couples.
But that doesn't mean we oppose the” proposed civil unions law,
“because they effectively approach a gay marriage.”