Pictured: newlyweds Jaime Nazar (left) and Javier Silva
Javier Silva and Jaime Nazar have become the first same-sex couple to marry legally in Chile.
The men wed Thursday in a civil ceremony in a Santiago suburb as the nation’s marriage equality law, approved last year, went into effect.
“Being the first couple to get married in Chile for us is an honor, something to be proud of,” Silva said after the ceremony, according to Reuters. “We did it! It’s something we didn’t think could happen.”
The two have been together for seven years and have two children. They had been in a civil union for three years. Civil unions in Chile conferred many of the rights of marriage, but some were lacking, including the right to legally adopt children.
“Now our children have the same rights [as other families] and they will be able to have, we hope, a better future, that they will not be discriminated against for having two parents who love each other,” Silva said. Their children were present for the wedding.
Two other same-sex couples married in Chile Thursday, Agence France-Presse reports. One of the couples, Consuelo Morales and Pabla Heuser, said they were motivated by the promise of parental rights. They have a 2-year-old daughter, Josefa, and until now Heuser, who carried the child, had been her only legal parent.
“Today Josefa ceases to be an illegitimate daughter,” Morales said, according to AFP.
The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Chile’s Congress, approved a marriage equality bill December 7, following Senate passage, and outgoing President Sebastian Piñera signed it into law two days later. Piñera had moved from opposition to support of marriage equality.
The race to succeed Piñera pitted liberal Gabriel Boric, who endorsed equal marriage rights, against ultraconservative Jose Antonio Kast, a staunch opponent. Boric won and was sworn in as president Friday. At 36, he is the youngest president in Chilean history. He has pledged to continue strong support for LGBTQ+ equality.