By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

  VALPARAISO, March 31, 2008 ( – A bill has been introduced into the Chilean National Congress to allow homosexuals to “marry” and adopt children.

  Officially named the “Bill that Modifies the Civil Code in relation to the Concept of Marriage”, it is being promoted by the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (MOVILH) and other homosexual groups, and is similar to one that failed in 2003.

  Current Chilean law defines marriage in a traditional manner, stating in Article 102 of the Civil Code that “marriage is a solemn contract by which a man and a woman unite themselves now, and indissolubly, and for life, with the purpose of living together, to procreate, and to give one another mutual aid.”

“With the introduction of the marriage law we are taking a historic step that we hope will broaden the debate over our rights,” said MOVILH president Rolando Jiménez. “We don’t want to continue being second class citizens.  We want complete equality with adoption of children included.”

  However, the bill was quickly denounced by Chilean Cardinal Jorge Medina, who noted that “before God homosexual behavior is abominable” and said that the new bill is “unacceptable from the Christian point of view.”

  It was also denounced by Ivan Moreira of the National Chamber of Deputies (Chile’s lower legislative house), who lamented the fact that “permitting unions between people of the same sex will require us to legislate so that these couples can adopt children and then what will happen?”

  MOVILH reportedly responded by calling Cardinal Medina’s comments “brutal and immoral”, and characterizing them as expressions of “hate and intolerance”, while blasting Moreira’s comments as “neo-nazi” and “homophobic”.

  The bill was reportedly authored by socialist representative Marco Enríquez Ominamí, with the support of Isabel Allende, Alfonso De Urresti, Jorge Insunza, Ramón Farías, Guido Girardi Briere and Adriana Muñoz.