Recognition of same-sex unions in Chile

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Legal status of
same-sex relationships
Marriage
Recognized
Previously performed and still valid
  1. Can be registered also in Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten
  2. Licensed in some counties in Kansas but same-sex marriage is not recognized by the state
  3. Only legal in St. Louis, Missouri
  4. When performed in Mexican states that have legalized same-sex marriage
  5. Only if married in Michigan when same-sex marriage was legal

*Not yet in effect

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Chile does not legally recognize same-sex unions. On 20 January 2015, the Chamber of Deputies approved the civil union bill (Pacto de Unión Civil) on a vote of 86 to 23 with 2 abstentions. The bill now moves to the Senate once again for the final vote.

In December 2014, a group of senators from various parties introduced a bill to legalize same-sex marriage and adoption.

Political history[edit]

Recognition of same-sex unions in South America
  Same-sex marriage
  Other type of partnership
  Unrecognized or unknown
  Same-sex marriage banned
  Same-sex sexual activity illegal

Bachelet's first presidency[edit]

During January 2006's presidential campaign both President Michelle Bachelet and center-right candidate Sebastián Piñera voiced their support for civil unions, but the Catholic Church and many members of Congress were opposed.[1]

In October 2009, a civil union bill was introduced but failed to pass.[2]

Piñera's presidency[edit]

During his run-up to the presidency in 2009, Piñera vowed to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and included a gay couple in one of his televised campaign ads.[3]

In June 2010, senator Andrés Allamand (National Renewal) submitted the Acuerdo de Vida en Común (AVC) ("Commonlife Agreement") to Congress. AVC was a civil unions agreement identical to marriage other than in name that would be open to any two people regardless of sex.[4] On 3 August 2010, senator Fulvio Rossi (Socialist Party) introduced a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the country.[5] During the first week of September 2010, several senators backing the bill stated they would withdraw their support after talks with members of the Evangelical Church, and instead announced support for the civil union bill introduced by senator Allamand.

In May 2011, president Piñera stated that he was in favor of an upcoming bill which would legalize a form of civil union; his stated intent was to “protect and safeguard [...] the dignity of those couples, whether of the opposite or even the same sex”.[6] Piñera introduced a bill to Congress in August 2011 allowing registered cohabitation, known as Acuerdo de Vida en Pareja (Life Partnership Agreement). This would give unmarried partners many of the rights now enjoyed only by married couples, such as inheritance and certain social welfare and health care benefits.[7][8] Piñera’s legislation proposed the creation of a Common-Law Agreement (Acuerdo de Vida en Pareja, AVP), which would allow same-sex couples to civilly register their partnership with a notary.[9] Chile's national LGBT rights group, the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (MOVILH), said it was cautiously optimistic the measure would pass.[citation needed]

In response to the proposed legislation and potential legal battles brewing in the country's Constitutional Court, members of Chile's Independent Democrat Union introduced a constitutional amendment on 11 August 2011, that sought to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman.[10]

On 10 April 2013, the Acuerdo de Vida en Pareja law creating civil unions in Chile was approved by the Senate's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, on a 4-1 vote.[11][12] On 7 January 2014, the Senate voted 28–6 in favor of the law,[13] but the bill was not voted on by the Chamber of Deputies before the end of the parliamentary session in March 2014, despite it being a priority issue for Piñera.

Bachelet's second presidency[edit]

Michelle Bachelet declared on 11 April 2013 that she supports marriage equality and will seek to legalise it if elected president in the November 2013 presidential elections. Bachelet, who was president of Chile between 2006 and 2010, won the election on 15 December 2013.[14]

When Bachelet took office in March 2014, she made passing Piñera's civil union bill a priority issue as well.[15] Legalising same-sex marriage remains a longer-term goal of Bachelet's administration.[16]

On 5 August 2014, a Senate committee approved the civil unions bill.[17] On 7 October 2014, the bill moved out of the Senate and is now scheduled for a final vote in the Chamber Of Deputies within the coming weeks.[18]

On 10 December 2014, a group of senators from various parties will joined MOVILH in presenting a bill to allow same-sex marriage and adoption to Congress. MOVILH has been in talks with the Chilean government to seek an amiable solution to the pending marriage lawsuit brought against the state before the Inter American Court of Human Rights. The group has suggested that they would drop the case if Bachelet's Congress keeps their promise to legislate same-sex marriage.[19]

The name of the bill was changed to Pacto de Unión Civil (PUC) on December 17, and Congress reiterated their intention to hold the final vote by January 2015.[20] On 6 January 2015, a provision recognising foreign marriages as civil unions was approved in the Constitutional Committee while the child adoption clause was turned down. The bill will go to a final vote before both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies as it was amended.[21] On 13 January, the full Chamber of Deputies reinserted the adoption provision.

Challenges in court[edit]

Chile's Constitutional Court heard arguments on 28 July 2011, regarding the constitutionality of Article 102 of the Civil Code that bans same-sex marriage[22] but it ruled in a 9-1 vote on November 3 that the ban was not unconstitutional.[23]

Polls[edit]

An April 2009 poll concluded that only 33.2% of Chileans were in favor of allowing same-sex couples to be married, with 65.2% opposed.[24] However, support among young people was much higher: according to a study by the National Youth Institute of Chile, 56% of people aged between 15 and 29 supported same-sex marriage, while 51.3% supported same-sex adoption.[25][26] A more recent poll showed that 70% of youths support same-sex marriage.[27]

The July 2011 nation-wide CEP poll found that 52% of Chileans were in favor of granting legal rights to same-sex unions: 18% supported granting civil marriage to gay couples, while 34% preferred giving same-sex couples a "legal union". When the question is slightly rephrased, 57% of Chileans were against gay marriage where "the same rights as a heterosexual couple are guaranteed" and 27% in favor, while support for a "legal union" of same-sex couples was higher at 35%, with 57% against. In all questions, support for gay unions was higher among the younger and better educated. In the case of adoption of children by a lesbian couple, 24% were in favor and 61% against. Support was lower for male gay couples: 20% in favor and 64% against.[28]

An August 2012 poll found that 54.9% of Chileans support same-sex marriage, while 40.7% are opposed.[29]

According to Pew Research Center survey, conducted between November 11 and December 16, 2013, 46% of Chileans supported same-sex marriage, 42% were opposed.[30][31]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CHILE: Law on Civil Union for Gays Within Reach". IPS News. 2006-05-17. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  2. ^ "Presentaron el Pacto de Unión Civil en el Parlamento chileno". Agmagazine.info. 2009-10-14. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  3. ^ "Chile's elections: "Who gets the gay vote?"". globalpost. 2009-12-03. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  4. ^ "Allamand reflota la agenda valórica". La Tercera (newspaper). 2010-06-13. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  5. ^ "Chile Senator Fulvio Rossi Introduces Gay Marriage Bill". Ontopmag.com. 2010-08-03. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  6. ^ Johnny Payne (29 May 2011). "Chile set to allow gay civil unions". PinkPaper.com. Archived from the original on 11 July 2012. 
  7. ^ Chile leader proposed civil unions, including gays[dead link]
  8. ^ "Chile President Sebastian Pinera proposed civil unions". Bbc.co.uk. 2011-08-10. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  9. ^ "Acuerdo de vida en común": Conoce de qué se trata este proyecto de ley (Spanish) El Vacanudo. 12-08-2011.
  10. ^ "Chile Introduces Constitutional Gay Marriage Ban Amendment". Ontopmag.com. 2011-08-11. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  11. ^ "Comisión de Constitución aprobó idea de legislar sobre proyecto que establece un Acuerdo de Vida en Pareja". Senado. 10 April 2013. 
  12. ^ Draft law establishing and regulating the Life Partner Agreement, Government of Chile
  13. ^ "Chile civil unions bill advances". Washington Blade. 2014-01-07. 
  14. ^ "Bachelet quiere legalizar aborto y matrimonio igualitario en Chile". Aciprensa.com. Retrieved 2013-12-02. 
  15. ^ "Government announces priority for same-sex civil unions and tax reform". Santiago Times. March 17, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Ministro Gómez abre discusión sobre matrimonio homosexual". 24horas. 2014-03-20. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  17. ^ "Chilean Senate committee approves civil unions bill". Washington Blade. 5 August 2014. 
  18. ^ [1]
  19. ^ "El proyecto de ley de matrimonio igualitario llega al Parlamento de Chile". Cáscara Amarga. 2014-12-11. Retrieved 2014-12-11. 
  20. ^ "Otorgan suma urgencia al AVP y le cambian el nombre por Pacto de Unión Civil (PUC)". MOVILH. 2014-12-17. Retrieved 2014-12-18. 
  21. ^ Comisión de Constitución de la Cámara despacha el Pacto de Unión Civil limitando los derechos de hijos e hijas
  22. ^ "Chile’s same-sex marriage debate reaches Constitutional Court". Santiagotimes.cl. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  23. ^ "Chile court rejects gay marriage appeal". IOL. 2011-11-04. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  24. ^ (04/24/09) (2009-04-03). "Most Chileans Reject Same-sex Marriage". Angus-reid.com. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  25. ^ "Unión civil para gays y lesbianas anima debate electoral". Ipsnoticias.net. 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  26. ^ "Presentación de PowerPoint" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  27. ^ http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/70-of-Chilean-Youth-Support-Same-Sex-Marriage-20140906-0015.html
  28. ^ "Estudio Nacional de Opinión Pública, Junio-Julio 2011. Tema especial: Educación". Cepchile.cl. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  29. ^ "Gran avance: 54.9 por ciento apoya en Chile el matrimonio igualitario". MOVILH. 2012-08-29. 
  30. ^ Religion in Latin America Chapter 5: Social Attitudes
  31. ^ Religion in Latin America Appendix A: Methodology