Chile legalizes same-sex marriage as major election draws near

Chile's government passed a law Tuesday to legalize same-sex marriage, a landmark decision in the historically-conservative and Catholic Latin American nation, according to multiple reports.

The South American country is headed for a major election in December and had been debating the legality of same-sex marriage for months, reports Reuters. 

After Chile's Congress passed the milestone law, Minister of Social Development Karla Rubilar said, "Today is a historic day, our country has approved same-sex marriage, one more step forward in terms of justice, in terms of equality, recognizing that love is love." 

Congress in both chambers overwhelmingly supported the measure by a wide majority, as Chile now joins 31 other countries in the legalization of same-sex marriage, according to The New York Times.

The law will officially be passed and enacted before Chile's hotly-contested presidential election on Dec. 19 between Gabriel Boric and José Antonio Kast, who are odds with one another over the legalization of gay marriage, among a litany of other issues, reports the Times.

Boric is a leftist and Kast was previously a far-right congressman, stacking the two up for a head-to-head election of starkly different political positions. 

Kast said of the recent vote, "We respect democracy, but that doesn't mean we change our convictions. For us, marriage is between a man and a woman."

Boric wrote on a tweet on Tuesday in Spanish: "It is law on #MatrimonioIgualitario . Despite the resistance of those who do not believe in freedom, it is reaffirmed that love is love. On this historic day I tell the diversities and dissidents that in our government they will be safe and will have full recognition of their rights."