On June 1, 2021, President Sebastián Piñera made his last annual report, and mentioned the same-sex marriage bill that has been on hold since 2017. This caused mixed reactions from politicians, especially right-wing sympathizers. A lot of them have since spoken publicly about agreeing with the bill.
During his final annual report on June 1, 2021, President Sebastián Piñera announced that he would be moving a stalled same-sex marriage bill to “urgent” status. He said that “this way, every person, no matter their sexual orientation can live their love, form families, with all the protection and dignity that they need and deserve.”
Reactions across the national political spectrum were swift, especially from right-wing politicians, who have been divided in their responses to the announcement.
On one hand, some said they were against the bill and same-sex marriage, such as Francesca Muñoz, from the National Renovation Party, who tweeted saying that “Christians will not give in. Chile is not asking for same-sex marriage, that’s a mistake. Marriage is between a man and a woman.”
Leonidas Romero, from the National Renovation Party, also referred to the matter, tweeting, “I regret having to listen to the one who betrayed the Christian world, especially Evangelicals, who backed him up with our vote.”
From the Republican Party, José Antonio Kast was quick to make a video saying that “we will not support any candidate promoting same-sex marriage, and we will not agree with any political force that doesn’t have the conviction to defend the Chilean family.”
The big surprise, however, was that many on the right-wing said they agreed with the bill, such as Felipe Kast, Andrés Molina, and Luciano Cruz-Coke from the Evopoli Party; Érika Olivera, Andrés Celis and Andrés Longton, from the National Renovation Party; and even from the Independent Democratic Union Party (UDI), a lot of members of the party showed support for the bill. Among them was Cristian Labbé, Jorge Alessandri, Joaquín Lavín Jr., and Alvaro Carter.
From back burner to front
The same-sex marriage bill was first introduced during Michelle Bachelet’s last term, in 2017. After that, it was tabled, but generally approved by the Senate in January of 2020.
Since the announcement, the bill was entered into the Constitutional Committee in the Senate, and it is expected to be discussed within the next month.
Javiera is from Santiago de Chile, she is studying journalism at Universidad de Chile, since 2017 and doing her internship at Chile Today.