The new president of Chile’s upper house of parliament, the Senate, has promised to pass an equal marriage bill this legislative year.
‘Chile is in full cultural change, [and] demands wider freedoms and rights’ Jaime Quintana, who will take office on Tuesday [12 March] wrote on Twitter.
‘There is no doubt’ Quintana wrote, the Senate will ‘discuss and approve the equal marriage this legislative year’.
Chile has recognized same-sex civil unions since 2015. And, in 2017, former President Michelle Bachelet introduced an equal marriage bill.
However, when Sebastián Piñera took office in March last year, his government said it would not prioritize the bill.
But now, new president of the Senate, Quintana, has promised to pass the bill.
Óscar Rementería, the spokesman of Chilean human rights organization Movilh, said there was a ‘clear horizon in sight’, according to local media.
‘We are happy with this announcement, which comes to justice around a brutal and irrational legal inequality that weighs on couples just because of their sexual orientation’ he told Radio Agricultura.
He said the group would be in talks with Quintana next week to end the bill’s ‘paralysis’.
LGBTI rights in Chile
Chileans overwhelmingly support LGBTI rights in the South American country.
A recent survey showed 65% of Chileans above the age of 18, supported marriage equality. That’s a seven point jump since February.
But, in January, two men in Chile were violently attacked and tortured in two separate homophobic attacks.
In September last year, Chile passed a Gender Identity Bill. Now, transgender people in Chile can now change their legal name and gender, without having to go through surgery.
It allows anyone over the age of 14 to self-identify their gender. But people 14-18 years old will need consent from their parents or legal guardians.
Chile currently offers civil partnerships to same-sex couples.
The previous president introduced a bill to legalize love but the new Chilean president stated legalizing same-sex marriage is not a priority.