Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said during a United Nations General Assembly panel on LGBT rights on Wednesday that she would send a bill legalizing same-sex marriage to Congress some time in the first half of 2017.
The move would follow the Congress’ legalization of same-sex civil unions this past January.
“My government has committed to submit to Congress a bill on marriage equality during the first half of 2017,” Bachelet said, according to a translation of her statement.
“Furthermore,” she continued, “it will also consider governmental support for several measures destined to strengthen the rights of the LGBT community, including reforms to anti-discrimination laws.”
With this bill, Chile would join fellow South American countries Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay in legalizing same-sex marriage.
While Chile is one of the continent’s most economically developed countries, it has been slow to embrace social change. In 2004, it became the last nation in the Western hemisphere to legalize divorce and still fully outlaws abortions in most cases.
Under Bachelet’s leadership, however, the country is making significant strides toward progress. When over 500,000 members of Chilean’s LGBT community marched for equality in 2013, for example, Bachelet commended the action and promised to work to advance the community’s rights.
And with this latest statement, it seems she’s doing just that.