Chile senator to sponsor gay marriage bill

Sun Aug 1, 2010 9:09pm EDT
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SANTIAGO (Reuters) - The head of Chile's Socialist party, Fulvio Rossi, told reporters on Sunday that he planned to sponsor a bill to legalize gay marriage in the country, as occurred last month in neighboring Argentina.

"This is a project that I will present ... and I am also calling on the Church to be more welcoming, and I say that as part of the Church," the senator said, responding to remarks from Chilean Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz who described the same-sex weddings in Argentina as "an aberration."

A gay couple from Chile was among the first to marry in Argentina, in the wine-making Mendoza region, when the country become the first in Latin America to allow same-sex nuptials.

Sebastian Pinera, Chile's first conservative president in two decades, has vowed to give more rights to same-sex couples, but opposes gay marriage.

Rossi's proposal is also expected to meet some resistance in Congress.

(Reporting by Maria Jose Latorre; Writing by Laura MacInnis)