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Chile passes marriage equality by wide margin

Santiago Chile 29 October 2019: Crowds protesting at Santiago de Chile streets in Plaza de Italia during protests and general strike. Police repelled the crowd with tear gas.
Santiago Chile 29 October 2019: Crowds protesting at Santiago de Chile streets in Plaza de Italia during protests and general strike. Police repelled the crowd with tear gas.Photo: Shutterstock

Chile has passed marriage equality legislation and will become the 31st country in the world to legalize same-sex marriages. President Sebastián Piñera is expected to sign it into law quickly.

The country’s new law also updates some existing ones to include LGBTQ couples and removes other restrictions.

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Chile has allowed couples to form civil unions that provided some protections, but lacked parentage and adoption rights.

The new law removes restrictions on same-sex couples around parentage, adoption rights, and assisted reproduction. It also removes a requirement that transgender people get divorced before having their gender legally recognized.

Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Uruguay have already enacted marriage equality. Mexico, on the other hand, has opted for a piecemeal approach. Twenty-four states allow same-sex marriages, but in the other eight, couples need a court order to marry.

In 2018, the Inter-American Court on Human Rights ruled in favor of marriage equality. That court’s decisions are binding in the 20 member countries – including Chile – although not every country has moved to implement the decision yet.

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