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Chile’s congress has finally voted to legalize same-sex marriage on Tuesday, December 7. The landmark law will also give married same-sex couples the right to adopt alongside other rights that come along with marriage like “welfare and state life insurance rights, among other benefits.” 

Minister of Social Development Karla Rubilar said in a statement after the passage of the bill: “Today is a historic day, our country has approved same-sex marriage, one more step forward in terms of justice, in terms of equality, recognizing that love is love.” 

Chilean President Sebastián Piñera who, for the longest time had been opposed to gay marriage, had changed his views and came out in support of marriage equality during his annual State of the Union address in June this year. According to BBC News, Piñera said during his speech that Chile must “guarantee this freedom and dignity to all people.” 

He then added, “I think we should deepen the value of freedom, including the freedom to love and to form a family with a loved one. Also the value of the dignity of all relationships of love and affection between two people.” 

Piñera, whose term will end in March 2022, is expected to sign the bill into law. It will then come into effect after 90 days. Read more here.

Meanwhile, Isabel Amor, executive director of equality group Iguales, said: “This is cause for all Chilean society to celebrate.” She added, “Not only will people who have a same-sex relationship be able to marry, but hundreds of children and adolescents will get recognition for their two mothers or two fathers.”

Currently, there are 30 countries in total where same-sex marriage is legal, namely: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. Aside from Chile, other Latin American nations that have recognized same-sex marriages included Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay, and Costa Rica. Read the story in full here.

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