Chilean Government Will Not Defend Same-Sex Marriage Ban

The Chilean government has announced it will not defend its ban on same-sex marriage following a lawsuit brought against the state by marriage equality advocates and presented to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, The Washington Blade reports:

6a00d8341c730253ef01bb07e4a0d6970d-150wi (2)Members of President Michelle Bachelet’s administration on Tuesday met with representatives of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, an LGBT advocacy group, in Santiago, the Chilean capital, to finalize “an amicable settlement” in the case filed in 2012 on behalf of three same-sex couples who are seeking marriage rights in the South American country.

The Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation in a press release it posted to its website said the government’s decision to end opposition to nuptials for gays and lesbians in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights case is part of a broader agreement that includes the introduction of a same-sex marriage bill in the Chilean Congress.

“We left the meeting very satisfied,” said the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation.“We appreciate the government’s good disposition towards our proposals and principles, which stress that marriage equality is a human rights issue.” 

Last month, Chile's Senate passed a bill that would allow same-sex couples in Chile to enter into same-sex unions. President Bachelet has said she will sign that bill. Still, advocates for full marriage equality vow to continue their fight despite this new legislation:

It remains unclear when the Bachelet administration and the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation will formally introduce the same-sex marriage bill in the Chilean Congress.

[Hunter T. Carter, a New York-based lawyer who represents the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation in the Inter-American Court on Human Rights case] told the Blade the lawsuit before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights will move forward in spite of the Chilean government’s new position.

“We’re going to continue the fight,” he said. “We are not going to drop the case until marriage is enacted in Chile.”

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