Chile’s Civil Union Laws Take Effect

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Civil Unions have now come into effect in Chile.

As Chile’s new civil unions law went into effect, dozens of same sex couples began arriving at civil registry offices early to officially validate their unions ABC news reports.

The civil unions law was debated in Chile’s Congress for over a decade until it was passed and signed into law by the president in April.

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Civil union gives same-sex couples many of the same rights as their heterosexual peers who are married. Partners can inherit each other’s property, join one another’s health plans and receive pension benefits. They have been recognised in several South American countries, though only Argentina and Uruguay have legalised full marriage equality.

GLBT rights campaigners in Chile are celebrating the right to same-sex civil unions as a step towards marriage equality.

“The civil union doesn’t end our struggle. We’re demanding same-sex marriage. We’re going to request for the measures stuck in congress to be revived,” said Rolando Jimenez, president of the Gay Liberation and Integration Movement.

The legalisation of civil unions is a major step forward for Chile, often regarded as one of South America’s most socially conservative nations. Chile only legalised divorce in 2004 and abortion remains totally banned.

 Article | Levi Joule.

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