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."