Chile legalizes homosexual unions

After nearly a decade of constant lobbying and litigation, the homosexual movement has scored a huge political victory in the once conservative Catholic South American nation.
Thu Jan 29, 2015 - 1:41 pm EST
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Chilean President Michelle Bachelet Government of Chile

SANTIAGO, Chile, January 29, 2015 ( -- After nearly a decade of constant lobbying and litigation, the homosexual movement has scored a huge political victory in the once conservative Catholic South American nation of Chile.

On Wednesday, lawmakers in Chile gave final approval by a large margin to a bill that will allow cohabiting persons, including homosexuals, to enjoy the same benefits, and in some cases greater benefits, than married persons.

Rolando Jiménez, the director of MOVILH, which stands for Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, pointed out that “eleven years have passed since we introduced the first civil union bill in the national congress,” and continued by “dedicating the victory to homoparental families, and to all those heterosexual couples who didn’t want to marry and who were stigmatized throughout history.”

One of the few Chilean politicians to vote and speak against the bill was Senator Jacqueline Van Rysselberghe, who stated that she would vote against the bill because it “debilitates the institution of marriage between heterosexual couples.”

The dismantling of the family has advanced especially rapidly in Latin America in recent years, with Argentina, Uruguay, and now Chile all relativizing the institution of marriage between one man and one woman.

Bishop Bernardo Bartres of Punta Arenas described the harm that will befall Chilean families as a result of this new law: “It is a shame that the state will not support the family which is where the entire social fabric is started.  It might appear as if this law tries to resolve a solution to a real problem, but in reality not only does it not solve any problems but it makes things worse by putting families in a very unstable foundation.  In marriage, which is the foundation of the family, there is a complementarity between man and woman at a physical, psychological and emotional level.  When they are together they form a family unit, one which is indissoluble.”

One of the many controversial aspects of the law involves the granting of authority to judges to grant custody to a non-biological parent/cohabiting partner in preference over “morally or physically unfit” biological parents or grandparents. 

Isabel Allende, a Socialist who is the President of the Chilean Senate and is also the daughter of Latin America’s first democratically elected Marxist president, Salvador Allende, stated, “I am very proud at having taken this historic step.  I believe that we have progressed in the respect and the dignity of persons, which is most important.  Nobody will have to suffer discrimination, be they homosexual couples or heterosexuals who opt for cohabitation and who through this legislation will have their rights completely guaranteed.”

This victory for the homosexual lobby in Chile came thanks to a center-left coalition called Nueva Alianza, which was formed in 2013 and in the same year elected socialist President Michelle Bachelet.  Currently, the Nueva Alianza controls a majority of the Chilean government.  The next large legislative project that the Nueva Alianza has vowed to advance is the legalization of abortion, something that would turn one of the most life-affirming Latin American countries into one of the few to allow the legal killing of unborn.

In Uruguay, another country that recently advanced the homosexual political agenda, a similar union of center-left groups called the Frente Amplio allowed the government of Marxist ex-guerilla-fighter-turned-president, Jose Mujica, to legalize abortion-on-demand, homosexual marriage, and marijuana.

Chile’s role in the battle over the family has been especially active both in local legislation as well as in international courts.  

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In 2005, a Chilean court ruled against a lesbian mother in the custody case of Karen Attala Riffo.  The mother, who happened to be a Chilean judge, took the case to the Inter-American legal system and obtained support from the Washington, D.C.-based Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and then a landmark ruling in which the Costa Rica-based Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled invalid “any rule, act, or discriminatory practice based on sexual orientation.”

The Inter-American Court’s decision in the Atala Riffo case was widely criticized by international legal scholars who pointed out that the decision had absolutely no legal basis in the international conventions that are supposed to be the source of the Court’s authority and neither was it supported by the practice of the member nations that overwhelmingly recognized marriage only between one man and one woman.

With President Bachelet’s signature a foregone conclusion, legislators in Chile are already pressing for the next step in their agenda to dismantle the family.

Senator Pedro Araya, who is also a member of the president’s center-left alliance, stated that after this law is passed supporters must start to push for homosexual “marriage” and homosexual adoptions.

Meanwhile, Senator Fulvio Rossi, general secretary of the Socialist party, reiterated the “importance of this moment.”

“The Chilean society has been evolving and I believe that we have to be happy with that,” stated the Senator, but he warned that “we still have to progress in the issue of homosexual marriage and other issues of gender identity.”

The approved law will be implemented immediately upon the signature of the president.  It also includes a provision that will recognize homosexual “marriages” entered into abroad.

  chile, civil unions, homosexuality, michelle bachelet

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