Chile grants same-sex couples more rights

Updated: 2015-04-14 10:35


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Chile grants same-sex couples more rights

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet delivers a speech during the enactment of the Law No. 20,830 Civil Union Agreement in the Palacio de La Moneda in Santiago de Chile, Chile, 13 April 2015. The law will recognize civil unions for same-sex couples and will come into effect in October. [Photo/IC]

SANTIAGO -- Chilean President Michelle Bachelet on Monday signed into law the Civil Union Accord, which recognizes the rights of homosexual couples.

The law "recognizes and formalizes the ties of cohabitation, both between couples of the same sex and between a man and a woman," says the presidency's press office.

Some 2 million people are expected to benefit from the new law, which will grant homosexual couples the same rights as heterosexual couples except the right to adoption, it says.

The law also gives unmarried couples more rights. Under the new law that comes into force in October, unmarried couples will be able to decide and approve medical procedures for each other and also be eligible to inherit property.

"This is a concrete step on the road to eliminating the (legal) difference between homosexual and heterosexual couples," Bachelet said at the signing ceremony. With this law, said Bachelet, "we bring Chile up to date."

Rolando Jimenez, leader of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, gave the thumbs up. "We are satisfied. It's a very good law that is going to provide a solution for 2 million Chileans who live together and ends the monopoly that said unions and families could only be recognized through marriage."