PRESIDENT Michelle Bachelet signed into law a long-awaited Bill recognising civil unions for same-sex and opposite-sex couples on Monday.
“We are saying this is a concrete step forward in the path toward ending the differences between homosexual and heterosexual couples,” she said.
She added that she saw this as “a vindication of the struggle for sexual diversity rights.”
Ms Bachelet was joined at the ceremony by LGBT advocacy groups such as the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation that were praised by the president for their leadership and advocacy work.
“Today is a historic day for social diversity. For the first time the state recognises that there isn’t just one way to build a family,” said the movement.
Communist Party MP Karol Cariola tweeted: “With this law the country recognises the existence of families with same-sex parents.”
An estimated 2 million cohabiting couples may benefit from this new law.