Marriage Debate Begins Again in Chile Senate

The debate over an equal marriage bill began once again in the Chilean Senate on Jan. 9, 2019. Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers.

(WB) The Chilean Senate on Wednesday once again began to debate an equal marriage bill.

Former President Michelle Bachelet introduced the bill in September 2017, but the debate ended when current President Sebastián Piñera’s administration took office at La Moneda a few months later.

Equal marriage has not been a priority for Piñera or his Cabinet, even though Chile was sued on the issue before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The Piñera administration, in fact, last October presented to the international body its interpretation of an agreement that Bachelet and the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (Movilh), the Chilean organization that filed the lawsuit in 2012, signed. The current government claimed  “the State through executive power could not have been forced to execute an action (through use of) another (legislative) power” and the agreement “never meant that the Executive, whoever the president was, should assume the commitment to promote the bill in Congress or obtain its approval.”

The statement was confirmed by Human Rights Undersecretary Lorena Recabarren, which generated negative reactions among opposition parties and the LGBT community.

In that scenario, it was the Congress itself that reopened debate on the issue. 

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