The conservative president of Chile made the case Tuesday for legalizing civil unions for gay and straight couples in the Latin American country.
President Sebastian Pinera signed a proposal for the law and sent it to Congress. He said that 2 million people in Chile live together but are not in a formal marriage.
"All forms of marriage deserve respect, dignity, and the support of the state," he said, according to the Agence France-Presse. Pinera still opposes marriage equality but he said his beliefs do not prevent him "from recognizing that other forms of affective relationships exist."
Pinera's stance is a big change for the country, which did not recognize divorces until 2004.