Chile’s government passed a law to legalize same-sex marriage on Tuesday, December 7, a significant milestone for the conservative South American nation after a decade-long legal battle. The Senate of Chile and the lower house of parliament both voted heavily in favour of the bill, which had previously been partially approved in November before the Senate sent it back to the committee to clarify ambiguities. Current President Sebastian Pinera, who will leave office in March, has fully backed the bill and is expected to sign it into law soon.
The vote is the culmination of a process that began in 2007 when then-President Michelle Bachelet pushed Congress to pass a same-sex law. According to the Human Rights Campaign, Chile will now join 30 other countries where same-sex marriage is legal — including Costa Rica, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay in Latin America.
“Today is a historic day, our country has approved same-sex marriage, one more step forward in terms of justice, in terms of equality, recognizing that love is love,” said Minister of Social Development Karla Rubilar after the vote.