Is Chile’s Prez Pushing Gay Rights To Score In The Polls? Works For Us

If you’re keeping track of countries that are closer than the United States to giving full equality to their gay and lesbian citizens, you might have to add Chile to that list.

On Tuesday, President Sebastian Pinera proposed legislation to recognize gay civil unions, granting them inheritance rights and other privileges currently only given to heterosexual marriages.

“All forms of marriage deserve respect, dignity and the support of the state,” said President Pinera, who signed the proposal and sent it to Congress.

“This puts opposite-sex and same-sex couples on the same footing, because in both cases it is possible to develop love, affection and respect.” [Source: AFP]

Don’t pour the pisco just yet, though: Pinera has repeatedly stated his opposition to full marriage equality.

“I deeply believe that marriage is by nature between a man and a woman, but that conviction does not prevent me from recognizing that other forms of affective relationships exist.”

Leaders from opposition parties, who boycotted the unveiling of the bill, claim Pinera, a conservative and one of the country’s richest men, is only trying to bolster his flagging popularity and appease students, who have been protesting for several months.

Hey, for a country that’s 80% Catholic—and that just officially recognized divorce in 2004—we’re not complaining.

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  • Odiseo

    Well, yes, for a country that is 80% Catholic. Even though gay marriage or civil unions are already recognised in a lot of other countries in Latin America (e.g. Argentina, right across the Andes).

    I guess it’s a good development for Gay Rights, but I hate it that this has been used in a moment when the President has only about 26% of approval ratings, and with student rioting for other equally, if not more, important issues such as inequality in the education system.

  • Claudio Martínez Obrero

    I am complaining: I am chilean. I don’t want Chile to become the next UK, with a “civil union” law that obstructs marriage equality.
    Anyway, I don’t think this gets aproved. Details are missing in the body of your new: the political parties that support conservative president Piñera (RN and UDI; “National Renovation” and Independent “Democratic Union”) don’t support this law proposal. It’s true that the opposition mostly values this and will partially support it, but I doubt, hardly, that this helps Piñera to recover in the polls. He’s down there because he made a lot of promises in his campaign and accomplish them but with conditions, what’s called in here “the tiny type in the contract”. This is just another show of that: he promised civil union during his government. He didn’t say it would be unsupported by government-supporting parties.

  • Lien

    Given that divorce was illegal until the several years, Chile is making huge social strides.

  • Luke

    Blood on the streets of Santiago, with teargas and extreme violence being used against student protesters by the state but as long as there’s a move towards gay marriage Queerty is happy – what typically two-dimensional coverage.

  • M.

    Fuck all this second-class marriages! This is NOT equality!

  • the crustybastard


    No it isn’t equality, but it’s progress towards equality, and that’s helluva lot more than the United States can manage.

    If a conservative Chilean chief executive can state unambiguously that, “all forms of marriage deserve respect, dignity and the support of the state,” one wonders why our President Fierce Advocate can, at best, burble lackwitted nonsense about “evolving.”

  • Claudio Martínez Obrero

    I agree with @M

    Haven’t oyu seen what happened in the UK? This could be seen as “progress towards equality”, but in some countries, it’s used as the excuse to ban marriage equality. A paralel new these days is that some deputies from the government’s parties presented a law project in the deputies chamber to constitutionaly ban same sex marriage.

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