Same-sex marriage emerged as a major dividing line between two potential presidential nominees of the Chilean Christian Democrat party in their first televised debate.
Claudio Orrego, who just finished his second term as mayor of the city of Peñalolén, said that he supported a civil union proposal currently under debate in the Chilean Congress. But he wants marriage to remain between a man and a woman. He said,
I have firmly supported the Acuerdo de Vida en Común, the anti-discrimination law, and I think and believe, like many Chileans, that marriage as an institution is between a man and a woman and this doesn’t seem to me to be arbitrary discrimination. I think it is part of the anthropology of life.
According to La Nación, Orrego’s opponent, Senator Ximena Rincón, responded that she opposes all discrimination and “if there is love” there is no reason not to allow same-sex couples to marry.
As I wrote in this post a few weeks ago, the debate over partnership rights is currently stalemated in the legislature. This election could have a huge impact on where it goes from here.