Chile promotes civil union law for gay couples

October 20, 2015
SANTIAGO, Chile  — The Chilean government launched a campaign Tuesday to promote a new civil union law that will go into effect Thursday and apply to both heterosexual and homosexual couples.

The law, long-sought by advocacy groups, is seen as a first step towards allowing gay marriage in the heavily Catholic country.

“As Chile has changed, and for the better … this was unthinkable a few years ago,” said government spokesman Marcelo Díaz in launching the new promotional campaign, “A Law For All Families.”

The new law enables unmarried heterosexual or homosexual couples living under the same roof to co-own property, receive inheritance and pension benefits, and make medical decisions.

And if a child’s biological parent becomes no longer able to care for them, custody decisions will give priority to that parent’s civil union partner, a provision demanded by gay rights organizations.

According to government figures, nearly 1,600 couples have registered so far under the civil union law.

The government said a special plan would be in place to register civil unions on Thursday, despite an unrelated strike by civil servants.

Chile was one of the last countries to legalize divorce, in 2004, and does not allow abortion under any circumstances.

You may be interested

Therapeutic abortion, part II: paper vs. practice
Therapeutic Abortion
159 views
Therapeutic Abortion
159 views

Therapeutic abortion, part II: paper vs. practice

Paula Umaña - February 22, 2018

Part II of a three-part series published in English at The Tico Times by permission of journalism student Paula Umaña;…

Costa Rican scientists discover new bacteria
Science & Tech
254 views
Science & Tech
254 views

Costa Rican scientists discover new bacteria

Katherine Stanley - February 22, 2018

You know you've made it when you've got a strain of Listeria named after you. "Listeria costaricensis" is the official…

Panama firm pleads guilty in FIFA corruption scandal
FIFA
252 views
FIFA
252 views

Panama firm pleads guilty in FIFA corruption scandal

AFP - February 22, 2018

NEW YORK – A Panamanian company that imports and exports soccer uniforms pleaded guilty on Wednesday in New York to…