Chile Holds its First Same-Sex Marriage

Javier Silva and Jaime Nazar, with their children Clemente and Lola Maria. They are the first gay couple legally married in Chile. Photo: Ministerio de Justicia y DDHH


HAVANA TIMES – Engineer Javier Silva and dentist Jaime Nazar became on March 10th the first homosexual couple to marry under Chile’s new equal marriage law, 90 days after its enactment.

“Now we can say that we are family, that our children have the same conditions and will have, we hope, a better future, that they will not be discriminated against for having two parents who love each other,” Silva said at a press conference at the gates of the Civil Registry of Providencia, an upper-middle class municipality in this capital.

Nazar and Silva, both 38 years old, have lived together for seven years. They have been a legal couple for three years under the Civil Union Agreement, in force since 2015, and have two small adopted children, Clemente and Lola María.

The ceremony was attended by the Ministers of Justice and Human Rights, Hernan Larrain, and of Social Development, Karla Rubilar, in what will be their last full day in office, since this Friday the 11th a new Chilean government assumes office.

“Starting today Chile is a better country for couples, and for children. We are doing justice to many families who were discriminated against. We can see faces of happiness, of emotion, because beyond this day, there is the possibility of building a family that is recognized by all,” said Rubilar.

After the ceremony, the new spouses were invited to a breakfast at the La Moneda presidential palace, by the outgoing president Sebastián Piñera, on his last day in office.

Piñera said that “what impressed me the most, and made me very envious, was how they looked at each other, how they laughed, how they showed the happiness that came out of their pores.”

“I can’t even believe that I’m here,” said Nazar, adding that “we hope to be representing the entire community accordingly, we know it is something very important for all of Chile, it is the beginning of a country that is beginning to work on equality from another point of view”.

Silva and Nazar’s marriage was followed in Providencia by that of two women, Consuelo Morales and Pabla Heuser, and by another eight weddings of same-sex couples in cities in the interior of Chile.

For the remainder of the month, 150 of these weddings are scheduled in this country of 19 million inhabitants, Civil Registry officials reported.

Javiera Zuñiga, spokeswoman for the Homosexual Integration and Liberation Movement, the largest group of the LGBTIQ+ community in Chile, highlighted that her country joins the thirty others that allow marriage between same-sex couples.

“Of the 194 States recognized by the United Nations, only 15.5% have equal marriage laws, versus an alarming 84.5% that continue to deny full equality of rights for all couples and families, only due to prejudice, ignorance, fundamentalism, or homophobia,” said Zuñiga.

Under the civil union agreements, some legal aspects of relationships between cohabitants of the same or different gender were regulated, but not filiation rights, which are included in the new Chilean law on same-sex marriage.

In Chile, the law now defines marriage as “a solemn contract by which two people are united currently and indissolubly, and for life, in order to live together, procreate and help each other.”

The premiere of the same-sex marriage took place a day before the 36-year-old Gabriel Boric takes office as the new president of Chile. He has said that his term (2022-2026) will be developed as “a feminist government” and he has appointed a cabinet of equality between men and women.

With the law’s entry into force, Chile becomes the 25th country in the world that has a law that allows same-sex marriage and the sixth in Latin America.

Read more from Chile here on Havana Times.