In a major boost for LGBTQ rights in South America, the government of Chile has voted to legalize same-sex marriage. The country will become the 32nd country in the world to pass this historic act of equality.
Maureen Breslin of The Hill reported that “Chile’s government passed a law Tuesday, Dec. 7, to legalize same-sex marriage, a landmark decision in the historically-conservative and Catholic Latin American nation.”
According to Breslin, “the South American country is headed for a major election in December and had been debating the legality of same-sex marriage for months.”
In a statement following the passage of the major legal milestone, Chile’s Minister of Social Development Karla Rubilar said, “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.”
The measure passed both chambers of Chile’s Congress with unprecedented support, with a wide majority voting in favor of the act. The vote comes just before the country’s next presidential election on Dec. 19. Candidates Gabriel Boric and José Antonio Kast debated the legalization of gay marriage repeatedly while on the campaign circuit.
“Boric is a leftist, and Kast was previously a far-right congressman, stacking the two up for a head-to-head election of starkly different political positions,” Breslin said.
Even after the government’s recent vote, Kast refused to accept defeat on the matter, saying, “We respect democracy, but that doesn’t mean we change our convictions. For us, marriage is between a man and a woman.”
Boric, in contrast, tweeted out his support of LGBTQ unions following the decision, saying, “It is law on #MatrimonioIgualitario. Despite the resistance of those who do not believe in freedom, it is reaffirmed that love is love. On this historic day, I tell the diversities and dissidents that in our government, they will be safe and will have full recognition of their rights.”