The Chilean parliament has approved a law that allows same-sex couples to marry in the South American country.
The BBC reports that on Tuesday, the bill passed in both the Senate and the lower house of parliament. It’s expected to be signed into law by the conservative president Sebastián Piñera, who had previously supported the legislation despite reservations from his fellow conservatives.
In a statement published by the BBC, Piñera said that Chile should “guarantee this freedom and dignity to all people.” He added that “we should deepen the value of freedom, including the freedom to love and to form a family with a loved one.”
The bill also allows same-sex couples to adopt children.
“I am so moved and so happy that our country, our people, our community, will now have a little more dignity,” said César Peralta who, along with his partner, Hans Arias, petitioned to be married in 2010, sparking Chile’s decades’-long fight for marriage equality, the New York Times reports. “I am so happy to have been a part of all this.”
Chile had previously recognized same-sex civil unions in 2015, while legislation to legalize same-sex marriage was introduced by then president Michelle Bracelet in 2017. The bill remained in the parliament until Tuesday’s vote.
Chile is now the 31st country to recognize same-sex marriage. It joins a number of South and Central American countries that do so, including Costa Rica, Argentina, and Colombia.