Chile yesterday approved a law guaranteeing equal civil rights of couples of the same or different gender, in order to combat discrimination in a society with largely conservative tradition.
The project, known as Civil Union (AUC) Agreement had the votes of the ruling party and the support of some opposition lawmakers after four years of discussion in the Chilean Congress.
“This is a legal status that applies to all types of couples and allows us to recognize the different forms of family and protect them all,” said government spokesman Minister Alvaro Elizalde.
The statute specifies that the AUC is a contract between two people who share a home with the purpose of regulating the legal effects of their emotional life together.
The spouses will be referred civil cohabitants for the purposes specified in the Chilean Civil Code. The gay weddings held in countries where they are allowed, may be registered in Chile.
Prior to the enactment of President Michelle Bachelet, the law will pass the Constitutional Court, after which a six-month process will be opened for writing the specific implementing regulations.