Chile president signs law allowing same-sex marriage

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — A Chilean law permitting same-sex couples to marry and adopt was signed into law Thursday by President Sebastián Piñera in a ceremony attended by activists for LGBTand broader human rights.

The ceremony came a little more than six months after the conservative leader surprised many by saying he would smooth the way for a marriage equality law that had long been stuck in the nation’s Congress.

The new law “will allow all children with a papa and mama, with two papas or with two mamas to have the same rights and the same protection,” Piñera said.

Isabel Amor, president of the Fundación Iguales, said the measure will help hundreds of children and adolescents who until now have been unable to have legal protection from both parents.

The Chilean Movement oif Homosexual Integration and Liberation said it recently surveyed 1,878 same-sex couples and nearly 83% said they planned to wed after the law takes effect in late March.

Without Piñera’s blessing, the law might have been stalled for years into the future: A newly elected Congress that takes office in March is somewhat more conservative than the outgoing legislature.

Chile depenalized sex between consenting adults of the same sex in 1999 and outlawed arbitrary discrimination in 2012. In 2015, leftist President Michelle Bachelet signed a law permitting gay civil unions. and in 2017, introduced the bill to allow same-sex marriages. It finally passed both houses of Congress on Tuesday.

Similar laws have been adopted in several Latin American nations in recent years.

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