Chile's president introduced Life Partner bill

Published: August 10, 2011

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera has made good on his promise to support a civil unions bill by signing and sending to Congress a bill which would grant same sex couples the right to register a Acuerdo de Vida en Pareja (Life Partner Agreement). (AFP)

    Chile’s conservative president proposed legislation Tuesday to recognize gay civil unions, granting them some of the same rights as married couples in the ultra-Catholic country.

    “All forms of marriage deserve respect, dignity and the support of the state,” said President Sebastian Pinera, who signed the proposal and sent it to Congress.

    “This puts opposite-sex and same-sex couples on the same footing, because in both cases it is possible to develop love, affection and respect.”

    Pinera, who brought conservatives to power after 20 years of center-left rule in the country, grated on his own election campaign when he announced his intention to legalize civil unions for gay couples. He said two million people in Chile live together without marrying.

I’ll admit that I assumed that Pinera’s campaign advertising which included gay couples was just for show and unlikely to translate into legislation.

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