11 July 2011
by Bridgette P. LaVictoire
While it is not quite marriage, Chile is moving towards civil unions for same-sex couples. Bloomberg is reporting from the Spanish-language news paper La Tercera that a bill could be presented to the Chilean Congress next week. The draft of the legislation would grant legal rights to lesbian and gay couples who have been together for more than one year.
Currently, Argentina is the only Latin American nation to have full marriage equality. Mexico City performs same-sex marriages, and the rest of Mexico recognizes them. Uruguay, Brazil and Columbia all have civil unions, as do the Mexican state of Coahuila and the Venezuelan state of Merida.
This still puts Chile ahead of large swaths of the United States. Currently seven jurisdictions allow for same-sex marriages with a further twelve having civil unions. That leaves some 34 jurisdictions covered by the US and her territories that do not recognize same-sex couples.