Chile Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage at Fraught Political Moment

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SANTIAGO, Chile — Lawmakers in Chile on Tuesday legalized same-sex marriage, a landmark victory for gay rights activists that underscores how profoundly the country’s politics and society have shifted in the past decade.

By overwhelming majorities in both chambers, lawmakers put the unions of same-sex couples on par with others, making Chile the 31st nation to allow gay marriage and taking a significant step toward consolidating it as the norm in Latin America.

The vote comes as Chile, long seen as a stable and conservative country in the region, grapples with an urgent demand for sweeping social change from various sectors of society. Millions of Chileans took to the streets in 2019 in protests that culminated in a vote to scrap the Constitution, a document inherited from Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship, and rewrite the laws that frame the nation.

The moment of reckoning showed how out of touch the political class had been on a broad range of…

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