Chilean Lesbian Couple Marries on Google + Hangouts

The Next Family

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Claudia Amigo and Claudia Calderón married in Santiago, Chile via Google+ Hangouts to protest the Chilean government’s unwillingness to get the same-sex marriage bill through Congress, according to ABC News.

The bill has been a debate within Chile’s Congress for almost a year. According to Rolando Jiménez, president of Chile’s Movimiento de Liberación Homosexual (Movihl), the bill should have easily passed during President Sebastián Piñera’s legislation because of his support of the bill during his campaign. However, Jiménez thinks the president is holding back in order to avoid alienating conservative voters during the upcoming November presidential election.

The wedding, which was officiated by Marchin, Belgium’s mayor, Eric Lomba, was mostly symbolic, as the couple’s status isn’t legally changed in Chile. The ceremony was organized by the French NGO Tous Unis Pour L’Égalité.

“We ratified our union through a beautiful gesture that honors unconditional love and the commitment that we feel towards each other every day,” the couple said after the web ceremony.

Jiménez hopes the ceremony will send a message to Chile’s politicians.

“The event has ethical and cultural significance,” Jiménez said. “It shows society the necessity to recognize the various ways in which we can form a family.”

Though Amigo and Calderón have raised Amigo’s 14-year-old-biological daughter Gabriela together, Calderón doesn’t have legal guardianship.

“The hardest part is not to be legally recognized as her mother,” Calderón said. “Not to be able to give her, for example, something as basic as health insurance or an inheritance. Not being able to say or do anything if something happens to my partner. The most likely thing that would happen is that they would take Gabriela away from me and I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it.”

Piñera’s term ends in November and though his likely successor, former president Michelle Bachelet, has already expressed her support for the same-sex marriage bill, Jiménez is weary.

“Bachelet has not been consistent on her position,” Jiménez said. “She said last week that we should discuss the subject. Rights shouldn’t be discussed; they should be respected.”

Other same-sex couples are looking at the symbolic option offered by a ceremony via Google+ Hangouts in countries that don’t recognize same-sex marriage. Tous Unis Pour L’Égalité has organized six weddings thus far, and according to their video statement, they are planning for more.

“We are the ones that must enact change,” Amigo and Calderón said. “Better times will come when every citizen in Chile has a right to marry the person they love.”

Brought to you by The Seattle Lesbian

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