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Colombian High Court Says It Will Legalize Same-Sex Marriage in Two Years if Congress Fails to Do So

Colombia's Constitutional Court yesterday ruled that the legislature must pass a same-sex marriage bill within two years or the courts will allow it, according to Colombian Reports:

Colombia The court ruled that homosexual partners currently lack certain rights afforded to heterosexual partners and instructed Congress to pass a remedy through "comprehensive, systematic, and orderly legislation" by June 20, 2013 to address the imbalance. If Congress does not pass legislation in that time, homosexual couples will be permitted to go before a notary or a court to have their partnership recognized.

Reactions to the court's decision were mixed among the Colombian LBGT community. Many gay Colombians were pleased that the court had insisted that they had a right to some form of union, but were dismayed that the court had sent the issue back to Congress.

A bill to recognize gay marriage has already been proposed and defeated six times in the Colombian Congress, and conservative politicians and the country's organized religions remain opposed to recognizing gay marriage.

The media outlet adds that the Colombian congress still appears to be split on the issue.

CNN adds: "The court did rule on Tuesday that gay couples in de facto unions constitute a family. Gay-rights supporters celebrated the ruling in the streets."

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  1. The High Court could have said Yes to marriage equality in Colombia yesterday -it was the deadline they had for it ...But they chose to leave it to congress...where it will go at a snail's pace in the next 2 years ...

    Worth to mention: The opposition was very strong: unfortunately Colombia is still a country where many people-not everyone though- are blinded by Catholic intolerance...

    I felt actually very sad by this development....

    Posted by: George F | Jul 27, 2011 11:10:09 AM

  2. It's just like New Jersey.

    Posted by: prophet | Jul 27, 2011 11:19:01 AM

  3. George, if it helps you to get over feeling very sad about this development, think about how cold a day in ficitional hell it would have to be before the US Supreme Court did the same thing here.

    Justice delayed is justice denied and of course it makes no sense for a court to find that something is wrong but it's okay for it to be wrong for two more years.

    But are you kidding me? This is a bad thing? I only wish we in the States had it as "bad" as Colombians when it comes to marriage equality.

    Posted by: ohplease | Jul 27, 2011 11:19:07 AM

  4. Gosh, that's quite something! I can't wait for us to have the benefit of a few more years of events for us to understand how the global spread of marriage equality is occurring. It just doesn't seem to follow a clear pattern right now to me which is what's so exciting!

    Posted by: Tarun | Jul 27, 2011 11:24:06 AM

  5. @GEORGE, I understand your disappointment but rest assured, Colombia (and the entire South American Continent) will have marriage equality before the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave does. If we're lucky, we'll edge out Iran, Saudi Arabia and Uganda to keep from being the last country in the world to end this injustice.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Jul 27, 2011 12:13:11 PM

  6. This sounds more like they're giving the legislature an option to call them "civil unions," just like the New Jersey 2006 ruling. Unless they stipulated the term "marriage" somewhere and it wasn't reported.

    Posted by: Bruno | Jul 27, 2011 12:21:34 PM

  7. @Ohplease:

    You are right: in Colombia we are ahead of many countries when it comes to LGBT rights ....and it is all thanks to that very same High Court that in the last years has worked for the better on them....

    But I was sad because up until yesterday it felt like we were about to get full marriage equality and follow on the example of Argentina -full marriage rights all over the nation...Yet we didn't ...
    It felt so close for a second...and now it feels like it will just be years on from today - The Congress here is problematic and conservative: and it won't be an easy road...

    Ah...and reading the comments people left on the local newspapaers 'websites regarding this issue was rather practically half of them were spewing a very poisonous opposition to us...

    Posted by: George F | Jul 27, 2011 12:44:25 PM

  8. @Tampazeke:

    That land-of-the-free-irony is sadly true: as Chile and Uruguay are on the edge of marriage equality as well...

    Hang on anyway: the US is still not defeated in its quest for LGBT rights... the problem with it is that is such a mammoth country with overweight politics that are slowing down its progress...But there are plenty of good people there as well...

    Cheers from Colombia!

    Posted by: George F | Jul 27, 2011 1:22:11 PM

  9. This sounds to me like the court is giving Congress a chance to pass civil unions, not marriage. So even 2 years from now Colombia might just get to where Brazil is at, but it might take even more time for it to get to where Argentina is.

    Posted by: Mike | Jul 27, 2011 3:31:48 PM

  10. I agree with Mike and others who have noted that this appears to be an instruction from the court to legalize marriage or some almost-equal union, or else in two years, an almost-equal union will be recognized automatically.

    Posted by: Randy | Jul 27, 2011 5:19:12 PM

  11. It is amazing to think that just a mere TEN short years ago, marriage equality did not exist - ANYWHERE. Today we have an every growing number of countries and political subdivisions that are creating equality - or near equality - or simply recognizing that our needs as same sex couples must be accommodated in some fashion.

    This is progress, and we should not be ashamed or saddened by it. We need to be encouraged to continue to let our relationships SHINE and let our LOVE be an example to the world.

    I've had my moments of gloom about this - when we lost marriage in California, as constitutional amendment after amendment was passed. But I remind myself - the world is changing - and for the most part...changing in our favor.

    Posted by: Alex | Jul 27, 2011 8:56:55 PM

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