Chilean Senate approves marriage equality bill

ABOVE: The Chilean Presidential Palace. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

VALPARAÍSO, Chile | The Chilean Senate on July 21 approved a bill that would extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.

The vote took place less than a month after President Sebastián Piñera announced he supports marriage equality and urged lawmakers in the South American country to quickly act on the issue. The bill now goes to the Chilean House of Representatives.

Same-sex couples have been able to enter into civil unions in Chile since 2015.

The Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, a Chilean LGBTQ advocacy group, in 2012 filed a lawsuit with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of three same-sex couples who were seeking marriage rights in the country. The group entered into an agreement with the Chilean government over marriage equality and adoption rights for same-sex couples, but withdrew from it last October.

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