Chile approves same-sex civil unions

I am thrilled that this has happened, in a culture that is predominantly Catholic.

Santiago (AFP) – Chile’s Congress on Wednesday approved the country’s first law authorizing civil unions of gay and lesbian couples.

The law, which has been in the works for four years, gives legal recognition to unmarried couples and ensures their rights to receive pensions, enroll in health plans and inherit property from one another.

It also gives them greater standing in child custody cases.

“We are happy that the state recognizes, for the first time, that a same-sex couple also is a family and deserves protection,” said Luis Larrain, head of the Fundacion Iguales, a gay rights group.

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