‘An exceptional day’: Chilean couple can finally get married after same-sex approval

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Santiago – Chile’s Javier Silva and Jaime Nazar, a couple for six years, have long wanted a marriage to complete their family and give them full legal status as parents, but the South American nation follows conservative rules interrupted the plans of the two men.

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Now, finally they can start sending out invitations.

Chile lawmakers on Tuesday legalized same-sex marriage after more than a decade of legal campaigns to change the rules as social customs change in the largely Catholic country. The bill was first sent to Congress in 2017.

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“Today is an extraordinary day for us,” Silva, 38, an industrial engineer told Reuters in Santiago, where the couple had recently returned from a surrogate mother in Colombia with their newborn daughter, Lola.

“Our daughter was born three weeks ago. She arrived in Chile and with the new law, which has just been approved, this is the best scenario for us,” he said, adding the same-sex bill would allow both partners to be recognized as legal parents .

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“Before that only one of us had rights and responsibilities.”

The couple, civil partners for three years, also have a 1-year-old son, Clemente, from a surrogate mother.

Civil unions have been allowed in Chile since 2015, but do not carry all the benefits of marriage, such as the right to adoption.

Silva’s partner, a 38-year-old dental surgeon, said the change ensures a stable legal future for the family.

“Eventually, we will be able to be recognized as a family before the state. To many, it may seem very obvious and it doesn’t matter, but for us it is a very important issue,” he said.

“This is for the safety of our children, for their future, not only for us but for all other families.”

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