Chilean president introduces same-sex marriage, adoption bill

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Chilean President Michelle Bachelet on Monday introduced a bill that would extend marriage and adoption rights to same-sex couples.

Ronaldo Jiménez, president of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, a Chilean LGBT advocacy group, is among those who attended the announcement that took place at the presidential palace in the country’s capital of Santiago. Nicolás Levy, the Washington Blade’s correspondent in Chile, was also in attendance.

“The president begins the act of signing a marriage equality bill,” said Jiménez in a tweet that included a picture of Bachelet at the ceremony. “That’s how we like Chile.”

Same-sex couples have been able to enter into civil unions in the South American country since October 2015.

The Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation in 2012 filed a lawsuit with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of three same-sex couples who are seeking marriage rights in the South American country. Bachelet’s government agreed to introduce a marriage and adoption bill as part of an agreement it reached with the group in June 2016.

Opinion polls indicate the majority of Chileans now support marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Bachelet is scheduled to leave office in March after her term ends. Former President Sebastián Piñera, who is running to succeed her, and conservative lawmakers in the Chilean Congress are among those who oppose marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples.

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