By four votes in favor and one against, the Committee on Constitution, Legislation and Justice of the Senate passed “the idea of legislating” on the draft AVP, step to start the parliamentary discussion, which will be discussed article by article.
The bill “cohabitation agreement”, a campaign promise of President Sebastián Piñera right, was submitted to Congress in August 2011, but until Wednesday had not formally begun the legislative process.
The government’s proposal seeks government “regulate the legal consequences arising from the affective life in common” between two people, regardless of gender or marital status change.
The project includes the ability to share in legal goods, receiving inheritances, pensions, or be considered a burden on the health system, among other rights.
Piñera, supported by a coalition of conservative parties especially, has said that the project does not recognize civil marriage between two persons of the same sex.
Senator of the rightist National Renewal Alberto Espina, who voted in favor of discussing the project, said however that “homosexual couples have every right to the state to protect them.”
“We value this progress toward equal rights for more than two million living in cohabiting full legal and social defenselessness” he said in a statement Jaime Parada, spokesman for the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (MOVILH).
According to the latest census of 2012 in Chile two million people living with a partner of the opposite sex without being married, a total of 16.5 million people, and 34,976 people reported living with a same-sex partner.
Chile, a country of conservative tradition, was one of the last western countries to recognize the possibility of divorce in law until 2004 and does not allow abortion.
In 1999, meanwhile, struck down a law that punished homosexuals (“sodomy”) with imprisonment.
In July last year, after the shock that killed a young gay man at the hands of neo-Nazis was enacted a law against discrimination.