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Gay Rights in Colombia Advance, As Same-sex Unions Get Approval

Colombia's lower house of Congress approved a gay union bill by a vote of 62 to 43 last Thursday. The bill would offer same-sex couples rights equal to heterosexual married couples in the areas of health insurance, social security and inheritance benefits.

ColombiaAccording to the Washington Post, "Colombia, like most Latin American countries, does not have fundamentalist groups with the kind of influence and funding to launch a national campaign against gay rights. But it does have a powerful Catholic Church, which argued that extending rights to same-sex couples would violate church doctrine. 'This gives legal sanctity to families that are artificial and false,' said José Galat, a prominent Catholic activist. After a long public battle, advocates from groups such as Diverse Colombia slowly won over many lawmakers in Congress. Among those who support the bill is President Álvaro Uribe, a conservative Catholic. He is expected to sign the measure."

Said Marcela Sanchez, director of gay rights group Colombia Diversa: "It validates our union before the law so we no longer have to go around lying about our relationship."

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Comments

  1. Potentially more good news for same-sex couples, now in Colombia!

    Again, through civil unions they will be provided virtually all the benefits of married couples.

    Posted by: Stephen | Jun 18, 2007 9:22:10 AM


  2. An ignorant Catholic says: "This gives legal sanctity to families that are artificial and false."

    WRONG. This gives legal sanctity to real families who so far have been denied any legal protection. It is not up to the Church, the Pope or even the president to determine what is or is not a family. That is determined by each of us, within the context of our own lives.

    Hurrah for Colombia. Just how many more countries will recognize the rights of their gay and lesbian citizens before the USA will?

    Posted by: Jonathon | Jun 18, 2007 10:25:12 AM


  3. Not to disparage the amazing work by Columbian LGBT activists, but how in the hell did the U.S. fall behind Columbia in LGBT civil rights? This is amazingly positive for Columbia and a clear signal that we are losing to claim to being the land of the free.

    Posted by: Bloggernista | Jun 18, 2007 12:16:24 PM


  4. "virtually" which means "not all" right Stephen?

    Posted by: Daniel | Jun 18, 2007 12:48:56 PM


  5. Stephen, you talk about how all of these partnership arrangements, everything from civil unions to registries that provide absolutely NO rights, benefits or responsibilities, provide VIRTUALLY ALL the rights of marriage.

    Let's pretend for a moment that your often repeated talking point is actually the truth for just one moment:

    What do you mean by "virtually" and what rights, benefits or responsibilities do you think could/should be legitimately and legally withheld from gay couples?

    Posted by: Zeke | Jun 18, 2007 12:57:23 PM


  6. One more question:

    Stephen, it's your prerogative to believe that marriage should be a heterosexual only institution. I'm not challenging that.

    My question is why can't you simply be satisfied with not marrying someone of the same sex? Why are you so determined to legislate your personal opinion to legally deny marriage to other gay people who want and/or need it?

    PLEASE don't make some lame comparison to murder or some other such straw man.

    Posted by: Zeke | Jun 18, 2007 1:07:55 PM


  7. How refreshing that a political leader can hold his own religious views while, at the same time, recognizing that he must keep his own personal religious views out of the lives of citizens and instead provide them with the same rights/responsibilites/protections as the rest of the country. Apparently, they aren't calling it marriage, and that's a damn shame, but it's a far sight better than what is available here in the United States of Amerikkka.

    Posted by: peterparker | Jun 18, 2007 1:57:35 PM


  8. Correct. I say virtually all benefits because these are state laws, not federal, that will be enacted. DOMA is the current federal statute.

    Posted by: Stephen | Jun 18, 2007 2:36:32 PM


  9. ...as the laws apply in the USA.

    Posted by: Stephen | Jun 18, 2007 2:37:37 PM


  10. Stephe, Since you won't answer the simple questions above maybe you will answer this one:

    What is your opinion on DOMA?

    Posted by: Zeke | Jun 18, 2007 3:14:45 PM


  11. Of course, Stephen, you do realize that Colombia is not in the United States.

    Posted by: Daniel | Jun 18, 2007 7:01:12 PM


  12. Zeke,
    I believe that DOMA should remain as the federal law.
    As for the question regarding what benefits same-sex couples in civil unions should be dis-qualified from, I admit to not having all the knowledge state by state to make a fully informed reply on this, but all benefits should be provided from what I currently know, though I have some reservation concerning a couple in a civil union filing a state tax return as 'married, filing jointly.' The jury is still out on that and as I learn more about each state's tax, domestic laws, et al., I can provide a better informed response.

    Thanks for asking.

    Posted by: Stephen | Jun 19, 2007 4:33:21 AM


  13. So you don't believe that gay couples should get equal Social Security benefits or any of the 1000+ federal benefits given to heterosexual married couples? Or do you believe they should be eligible for these benefits but through civil unions? Why do you not think gay couples should get state tax breaks? Or, again, is it that you think they should be eligible as long as the box they check doesn’t say “married filing jointly”? Would it be OK if it said “partnered filing jointly”?

    Stephen, I'm not sure if anyone has asked this question of you, and normally I wouldn't, but I think it is relevant.

    Are you gay?

    I'm trying to be less confrontational and more open to dialogue here. It is quite relevant to the conversation to know if you are gay or not.

    Posted by: Zeke | Jun 19, 2007 11:11:01 AM


  14. Zeke,

    My sexuality is more ancillary to the topic at hand. I don't believe it is pertinent.

    As for the benefits same-sex, long-term couples should be eligible for, it is a complex question because so much is brought into play, i.e., discussion.

    Certainly my feeling that DOMA should remain as a federal statute would exclude couples in a civil union from social security benefits, yet there somehow should be a provision where a quid pro quo resolves questions like this and others.

    Suffice to say, these are questions that need to be discussed from a grass roots level all the way up the hierarchy of people they affect and to those making the decisions for/against those people.

    Posted by: Stephen | Jun 19, 2007 3:16:28 PM


  15. It's best to ignore the trolls, Zeke.

    Why in the world should a gay couple not be entitled to filing taxes together? That's absurd.

    Instead of engaging in that conversation with someone like Stephen, save yourself the trouble and invest that energy into talking to the people who can see right from wrong. There are a lot of level-headed people that AREN'T trolling popular gay sites.

    Posted by: Ryan | Jun 19, 2007 7:01:36 PM


  16. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt Ryan but it has become painfully clear that Stephen is in fact probably a straight man in one of the Focus on the Family computer labs, compassion trolling the gay sites pushing anti marriage equality propaganda as if he is a gay man who is against it.

    I won't address him in any way henceforth.

    Posted by: Zeke | Jun 20, 2007 1:02:50 PM


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