‘Conservative’ Chilean president introduces homosexual civil unions bill after months of pressure

The billionaire president has taken a strong pro-life stand on issues such as abortion, and the press noted the absence of representatives from his own party when he signed the new proposal.
Wed Aug 10, 2011 - 10:24 am EST

SANTIAGO, Chile, August 10, 2011 ( - Chilean president Sebastián Piñera has introduced a civil unions bill that includes homosexuals following months of pressure from homosexualist organizations.

Piñera, a billionaire “conservative” who has taken a strong pro-life stand on issues such as abortion, had repeatedly promised to create such a bill, but had delayed until yesterday, when he introduced a legislative proposal for an Agreement of Life as a Couple (Acuerdo de Vida en Pareja). 

The Chilean press noted the absence of representatives of the president’s own party, National Renewal, as well as one of the other two parties that make up the Coalition for Change supporting the president, at the signing of the bill’s proposal.

The proposal defines an Agreement of Life as a Couple (AVP) as “a contract, which two people can celebrate, of the same or different sexes, with the purpose of regulating the juridical effects of their affective life in common.”

The phrase “affective life in common” was reportedly included to give homosexuals an acknowledgement of the sexual aspect of their relationships.  However, in an attempt to placate social conservatives, the proposal goes on to say that the AVP “does not alter the civil state of the contracting parties.” 

Piñera’s camp has stated previously that such language avoids a comparison with marriage, maintaining the agreement as nothing more than a contract. 

However, Piñera himself openly endorsed the proposal as a way of recognizing “multiple forms or expressions of family.”

“Apart from the traditional or nuclear family, there exist many other forms of families, such as single-parent, extended, people living together of different or the same sex, related family members, and each one of these deserves respect, dignity,” Piñera opined.


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