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Chilean President Sebastián Piñera Introduces Civil Union Bill

Conservative Chilean President Sebastián Piñera introduced legislation today to recognize same-sex civil unions, AFP reports.

Pinera Said Pinera: "All forms of marriage deserve respect, dignity and the support of the state. This puts opposite-sex and same-sex couples on the same footing, because in both cases it is possible to develop love, affection and respect."

Carlos Larrain from the Renovation National and Juan Antonio Colona of the Independent Democratic Union (UDI) boycotted introduction of the legislation, which was reportedly a campaign promise.

Pinera remains opposed to same-sex marriage, AFP adds: "I deeply believe that marriage is by nature between a man and a woman, but that conviction does not prevent me from recognizing that other forms of affective relationships exist."

The AP reports: "Gays and lesbians see Sebastian Pinera's signature on the bill he's sending to Congress as a big step toward equality."

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  1. U-S-A! U-S-A!

    Doing our best to be the LAST country in the America's to legally recognize gay couples nationally!

    I'm so proud! Land of the Free, Home of the Brave INDEED!

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Aug 9, 2011 8:40:15 PM

  2. It's just civil unions. Did you miss that part, Zeke?

    "Pinera remains opposed to same-sex marriage."

    Meanwhile, we have actual same-sex marriage in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, the District of Columbia, and two Native American Tribes. Such marriages are also legally *recognized* in Maryland, which may be the next U.S. state to join civilization.

    We're still ahead of Chile.

    I understand (and share) your frustration, but ignoring the facts to bash the US only makes you look... ill-informed. Especially when such facts are so readily available.

    Posted by: Max | Aug 9, 2011 9:00:34 PM

  3. This idiot doesn't seem to get that by withholding the word marriage, you are also withholding a significant part of that respect and dignity he talked about. Neighboring Argentina has full marriage equality, would have expected more from Chile.

    Posted by: Ken | Aug 9, 2011 9:09:22 PM

  4. Max: Not so sure we are ahead of Chile. Even though we have states with marriage equality, our federal government gives no recognition what so ever to same sex couples. I think this does put Chile slightly ahead of us on civil rights.

    Posted by: Ken | Aug 9, 2011 9:13:56 PM

  5. Great, now I can sit on the back of the bus.

    Posted by: tobal | Aug 9, 2011 9:36:23 PM

  6. Max: Tell that we're still ahead of Chile to that bi-national married gay couple mentionned today on this site, in which one partner will soon be deported.

    Posted by: AG | Aug 9, 2011 9:55:01 PM

  7. It's sad that Chile's federal government is moving to recognize civil unions before the American federal government is. America loves to call itself the greatest country on Earth but when it comes to gay rights we are really lagging behind.

    Posted by: Gaytorium | Aug 9, 2011 10:55:01 PM

  8. The first quote is mistranslated. It should say "union" instead of "marriage".

    I'm Chilean. This is great. Piñera is a weaselly guy, I'm relieved he actually sort of kept his word on this. Yet, the bill will face some fierce opposition in the Congress, mainly from Piñera's supporters (Larraín and Coloma are from Piñera's ranks).

    Posted by: Paper Salad | Aug 9, 2011 11:23:57 PM

  9. @MAX, did you miss the fact that I said "recognition of gay couples NATIONALLY"? If Chile gets Civil Unions NATIONALLY it's much further forward than the US is with a few (mostly tiny) states that have full marriage and a few more with Civil Unions; NONE of which are recognized federally.

    No it's not marriage but it will be a hell of a lot better, over all, than any couple has in the United States, including those who live in states that recognize gay marriage.

    And if they pass Civil Unions now they will probably have nation-wide marriage equality before the US does.

    I stand by my statement.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Aug 10, 2011 12:43:32 AM

  10. And furthermore Max, you must have absolutely no idea who you're talking down your nose to if you think I am ill-informed on this issue. You must be new to the scene to be so stupid as to say such a thing. It's you who is ill-informed if you think marriages that are recognized in only a handful of states and not worth the paper they are printed on Federally beat what is being proposed in Chile.

    I'm not a Civil Unions supporter. They suck. But nation-wide, federally recognized Civil Unions that offer everything but the name (like in England) beats the hodge podge of crumbs that we are getting in the US. And those countries (like England) will most definitely have full marriage equality before the US will.

    Sorry if you think criticizing America, where it deserves it, is "bashing". Sounds like you would be happier over at GayPatriot. I consider it an act of patriotism to call America out when it doesn't live up to its promise of freedom, liberty and equality for all.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Aug 10, 2011 12:58:01 AM

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    Posted by: linlijun123 | Aug 10, 2011 5:26:26 AM

  12. TampaZeke, I totally concur. We're not ahead of Chile in terms of recognition at the national level. There is NO marriage equality in the 6 states where we can marry. We still don't have the 1138 federal rights. So what we really have is marriage inequality. Civil Unions will be the stepping stone to full marriage equality in Chile. At least gay couples will not be denied any rights as they are in the six states in our own country. It's already happening in the UK too, where there are civil partnerships at the national level. A full civil marriage equality consultation is about to begin there in the fall, under a conservative coalition government no less. Who would have thought? Meanwhile, we have to grapple trying to get DOMA overturned in 31 states while other countries get far ahead of us, Chile and the UK being the latest.

    Posted by: Robert in NYC | Aug 10, 2011 8:24:21 AM

  13. The gay community abroad should boycott the US. The US has led the world to believe it is a country of tolerance, a country where individual rights are respected independently of one's background or minority status. This is not true; the US is behind almost every other country in Western Europe and the Americas when it comes to gay rights. The international gay community should boycott that country until it changes its ways.

    /Parody of typical Towleroad commenter's reaction to news not favourable to gay rights in countries other than the US.

    Posted by: ... | Aug 10, 2011 9:08:08 AM

  14. Gee, Zeke. Maybe if our "fierce advocate" two-faced president and the do-nothing Dems hadn't wasted their historic supermajority, we might be further along federally.

    What you dismiss as "only a handful of states" was an enormous victory, especially for those who fought so hard for it. Keep the victories coming.

    Posted by: Max | Aug 10, 2011 9:14:21 AM

  15. Gee MAX, you're an idiot who changes the rhetorical fallacies when he's shown to be a fool.

    If you knew me AT ALL, you would know that I have NEVER let Obama or the Democrats off the hook for their failures to meet their campaign promises to the gay community.

    In spite of your bait and switch fallacy, I never said that the states who have passed marriage equality was a bad thing or that they weren't enormous victories. I pointed out that your claim that that put us ahead of a country that recognized Civil Unions with the benefits of marriage NATIONWIDE and FEDERALLY, was bogus.

    Speaking of "those who worked so hard for it", I spent a YEAR fighting for marriage equality in my home state of Florida as well as spending MONTHS away from my family and my practice GOING TO Wisconsin, California and Maine to knock on doors and phone bank. How 'bout you?

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Aug 10, 2011 10:00:04 AM

  16. Angry much, Zeke? How about taking out all your indignant rage on someone who supports full marriage equality, huh? That will go far.

    They need you in Chile: "Pinera remains opposed to same-sex marriage."

    Posted by: Max | Aug 10, 2011 10:54:08 AM

  17. Fascinating that all those staunchly catholic countries are coming around now - Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Mexico and now Chile. These are great advances of what were deemed backward nations. A sign of great civil responsibility, a leapfrog effect maybe? I am living in one of those countries (as a foreigner) and am glad that the religification of society and politics is something that happened in the middle ages where I live now. But unfortunately it is not the case everywhere.

    Posted by: fullfrontal | Aug 10, 2011 4:42:40 PM

  18. Piñera's law will allow for the creation of an "Acuerdo de Convivencia No Matrimonial" (Non-marital cohabitation agreement). Sounds like a tenancy agreement to me, not a civil union.

    Posted by: Callum | Aug 10, 2011 8:49:14 PM

  19. U-S-A! U-S-A!

    Doing our best to be the LAST country in the America's to legally recognize gay couples nationally!

    I'm so proud! Land of the Free, Home of the Brave INDEED!

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Aug 9, 2011 8:40:15 PM

    Rep;y - we were also the next to the last country in the west to end slavery and that took a war.

    And the next to last of nato nations to end DADT. the one remaining country is Islamic turkey.

    Take all these religious freaks - the vatican and the southern evangelicals and put them on some isolated Island

    Cheap TV entertainment will be a spy satellite watching them kill each other when they have no one else to hate

    Remember No. Ireland and Ireland?

    Religion is the curse of both the east and the west.

    And they dare not change, for any change and the whole Piece of poop is exposed for what it is.

    the last dark ages lasted a thousand years.

    We dont have that time to waste anymore

    Posted by: sjames | Dec 7, 2011 10:26:48 PM

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