[JURIST] Chile’s president, Michelle Bachelet [official profile, PDF] introduced a bill on Tuesday that would legalize same-sex marriage. Bachelet said [press release] “We believe that it is not ethical or just to place artificial limits on love or deny essential rights based solely on the sex of the partners.” The marriage bill would also allow same-sex couples to adopt children. The bill must now be approved by Congress. According to the Washington Post, it is “unlikely” [WP report] that Congress will approve the bill before Bachelet’s term ends next March. However, the presidential support is significant for a country that has historically been viewed as conservative.
LGBTQ+ rights and anti-homosexuality laws have been a matter of international controversy for decades, and have been receiving increasing attention and scrutiny in the past few years. Last month Malta legalized [JURIST report] same-sex marriage. That same month the UK Supreme Court awarded [JURIST report] equal pension rights to same-sex spouses. Earlier in July the New Zealand Parliament formally apologized [JURIST report] to the hundreds of men who were criminally convicted under antiquated anti-homosexuality laws. Also in July a Chinese court has ordered a mental hospital to issue a public apology and pay compensation [JURIST report] to a 38-year-old man after forcing him to undergo conversion therapy. In June the lower house of the German Parliament voted [JURIST report] 393-226 to legalize same-sex marriage. In April Nigeria prosecutors in Kaduna charged [JURIST report] 53 men for celebrating an LGBTQ wedding in violation of the state’s law against ‘unlawful assembly’ and the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act. A day earlier Human Rights Watch and other advocacy groups had urged [JURIST report] UN Secretary General António Guterres to investigate alleged abuse against LGBT people in Chechnya.