Chile’s Congress votes to legalize same-sex marriage

The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Congress, passed the bill with 82 votes in favor, 20 against, and 2 abstentions. The bill had already been approved by Chile’s Senate.

The motion was first presented in 2017 by socialist president Michelle Bachelet, but stalled in Congress until current President Sebastian Piñera voiced his support.

Piñera — a right-wing, conservative politician — said earlier this year that he supported marriage equality. He is expected to now sign the bill into law.

“I think the time has come for equal marriage in our country,” Piñera said in June, “In this way, all people without distinguishing by sexual orientation, will be able to live love and form a family with all the protection and dignity that they need and deserve.”

Polar opposite candidates head to run-off vote in Chile

Pinera’s term as president is winding down, with a run-off vote between candidates José Antonio Kast and Gabriel Boric scheduled for later this month.

Chile has legally recognized same-sex civil unions since 2015. Legalizing same-sex marriage would provide equal rights to same-sex couples, such as the right to adopt children.

Across Latin America, same-sex marriages are allowed in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Uruguay and parts of Mexico.

Previous reporting by CNN’s Michelle Velez in Atlanta and Stefano Pozzebon in Bogota.

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