The government of President Sebastian Pinera of Chile will present a bill to the national legislature that would grant legal rights to gay and straight couples who have lived together for more than one year, according to La Tercera and the English-language Santiago Times. The proposed status would be called "Acuerdo de Convivencia No Matrimonial" (ACNM), translated as Non-Marital Cohabitation Agreements.
President Pinera was elected as the conservative alternative to a more progressive incumbent. In last month's March for Sexual Diversity, demonstrators protested Pinera's failure to keep his promise to back a civil unions bill. He has now announced his intention to submit the legislation, although it was unclear whether his party (UDI) would support it. Similar bills have been introduced in the Chilean Congress since 2009.
If the bill passes, Chile (yellow on the map, along with Venezuela, which also has pending legislation) will join Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Uruguay (light blue) in having laws similar to civil unions or the French PACS for unmarried partners. Argentina has legalized same-sex marriage (dark blue).
From The Santiago Times:
Chilean President Sebastián Piñera passed his proposal that allows for gay partners who live together for at least a year to apply for civil union to members of his Alianza coalition on Monday.
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Wednesday, July 13, 2011
By Nan Hunter -