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Legal Victories For Gay Parents Across The Globe: Roundup

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Last week, gay parents in three different nations celebrated several significant wins within the court systems of their respective countries. The courts granted fundamental custodial rights to gay families in Colombia, Italy and Switzerland.

On Thursday, Colombia's Constitutional Court ruled that Veronica Botero could legally adopt the biological child of her lesbian partner, Ana Leiderman. Five years ago, Leiderman underwent artificial insemination to have the child, whom her partner helped raise since birth. The AFP news agency reports:

With six votes for and three abstentions, the court ruled that Leiderman, who underwent artificial insemination to conceive her daughter and raised her together with Botero, had the right to request an adoption by her partner regardless of sex.

"The court considered that the discriminatory criterion the administrative authority had used to deny the adoption procedure... was unacceptable in this case, which involves a consensual adoption in which the biological father or mother consents to an adoption by his or her permanent partner," said chief justice Luis Ernesto Vargas Silva.

This ruling, however, does not allow adoption by gay couples in cases wherein neither is the biological parent of the child.

Meanwhile in Italy, a court in that country also ruled that a woman could adopt the biological child of her partner. The online news site The Local reports:

In this case, the non-biological parent was allowed to adopt the child due to a clause in Article 44 of Italy’s adoption law of 1983, which prioritises “the best interest of the child in order to maintain the emotional relationship and cohabi-tation with the ‘social’ parent,” Pili added, such as the person who has raised the child other than the biological parent.

“This particular article of adoption law does not discriminate between heterosexual and homosexual parents,” she said

The court ruling was described as an “historic step for our country” by the gay rights group, Mario Mieli Society for Gay Culture.

In Switzerland, a court in the northern part of that country has ruled that a gay couple are legally the parents of a child born to the men via surrogate in California. 

The American birth certificate was based on a California court decision by which the surrogate mother and her husband abandoned their parental responsibilities for the newborn. The Saint Gallen cantonal department responsible for births and marriages supported the two men but the Swiss federal justice department appealed the canton’s decision, which brought the case to court.

The court ruling dated August 19th partially recognized one concern of the justice department by requiring the genetic parentage of the child to be registered as part of the birth certificate. However, in its decision the court clearly recognizes the two men as fathers. “The administrative court recognized the judgment from the United States,” Karin Hochl, the lawyer for the gay couple told SDA.

This ruling can be appealed and then brought to the Swiss Supreme Court. No word yet if there are plans to do so.


Colombian Transgender Women Form Soccer Club To Combat Transphobia: VIDEO

Colombian trans football team

A group of trans women in Colombia have decided to combat transphobia by forming an all-trans football club.

Mariana, who was crowned Ms. Trans last year, says “with the World Cup, we are honouring and are proud of Colombia. We are trans, but we are still Colombians, and we want to be involved in Colombian society.”

Another team member adds, “We hope there will be acceptance from the community with our game. There is a tendency to fear what you don’t understand. This is a way for people to get to know us.”

Watch the Vocativ report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Colombian Transgender Women Form Soccer Club To Combat Transphobia: VIDEO" »


Two Gay Couples Granted Marriage Licenses in Colombia

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Despite the July ruling by a judge in Bogota in support of marriage equality, doubts continue to linger about whether same-sex couples can indeed get married in Colombia. The confusion stems from a 2011 ruling from Colombia's Constitutional Court that declared the nation's Congress must act by June 20, 2013 to provide same-sex couples with the same rights before the law as heterosexual couples. After that date came and went without any substantive action by the Congress, it was up to court officials, mainly judges and notaries, to decide how they would implement the court's order.

Things appear to be moving again, as two gay coupless have been granted marriage licenses, Andrés Duque at Blabbeando reports:

In a surprising statement released on Wednesday, Colombian attorney and long-time LGBT-rights advocate Germán Humerto Rincón Perfetti announced that a .civil court judge had declared Julio Albeiro Cantor Borbón and William Alberto Castro Franco "united in civil matrimony" in a ceremony that took place on September 20th.

Then today the leading national newspaper El Espectador announced in its front page that Elizabeth Castillo and Claudia Zea (above) had joined them on Wednesday when a second civil court judge also granted them a marriage license. "I join you in a legitimate civil matrimony with all the prerogatives and rights that civil law grants you and the same obligations imposed by civil law," said the judge before the couple signed their marriage license.

Adds Duque:

Yesterday the Inspector General's office announced that it would fight to stop these marriages using a fast track appeal legal form called a "tutela".

Lawyer Mauricio Albarracín argues that for a "tutela" to proceed the applicant has to prove these marriages violate a person's rights which Albarracín says will be impossible for Ordoñez to prove.

The issue will probably head back to the upper courts in the future but as of this week Julio Albeiro Cantor Borbon is married to William Alberto Castro Franco and Claudia Zea is married to Elizabeth Castillo.


Gay Marriage Faces Uncertain Future In Colombia

6a00d8341c730253ef0191043145f3970c-piDespite the recent ruling by a judge in Bogota in support of marriage equality, doubts continue to linger about whether same-sex couples can indeed get married in Colombia. The confusion stems from a 2011 ruling from Colombia's Constitutional Court that declared the nation's Congress must act by June 20, 2013 to provide same-sex couples with the same rights before the law as heterosexual couples. After that date came and went without any substantive action by the Congress, it was up to court officials, mainly judges and notaries, to decide how they would implement the court's order. However, there has been some uncertainty as to whether the high court's ruling necessarily mandated that marriage equality become the law of the land. Inspector General Alejandro Ordóñez, "who oversees how public officials do their jobs" in Colombia, recently petitioned the Constitutional Court for a clarification on its 2011 ruling, BuzzFeed reports:

"On Friday, the court rejected Ordoñez’s petition for it to clarify that it did not intend to open marriage to same-sex couples. And Constitutional Court President Jorge Iván Palacio sternly warned Ordoñez to “observe the determinations of this Court and monitor their strict and timely compliance.”

Palacio also called Ordoñez out for disparaging the court’s authority, “inviting” him to “maintain decorum” when addressing the court in the future.

Palacio’s statement was more concerned with ensuring the independence of the judiciary than with the question of same-sex marriage. Though it shut down Ordoñez, it also did not clarify that it intended for couples to have the right to marry. The high court seems to want the issue to percolate more among lower judges and notaries, though it is widely expected to have to revisit the issue."

Though doubts remain, marriage equality activists in Colombia view the Court's rejection of Ordoñez’s petition as a victory:

“A free path for #marriage equality,” tweeted human rights lawyer Viviana Bohórquez, which was retweeted by Marcela Sánchez, the executive director of Colombia’s leading LGBT rights organization, Colombia Diversa."


Colombian Judge Says Gay Couple Can Marry; Sets July 24 Ceremony

ColombiaMarriage equality has come to Colombia it appears, in a five-page ruling by Carmen Lucía Rodríguez Díaz, a civil judge in Bogotá, who was petitioned by a gay couple to recognize their relationship under the law. The couple, named Diego and Juan, are expected to marry in a civil ceremony on July 24.

In 2011, the Colombia Constitutional Court ruled that the nation's congress had to provide full legal recognition of same-sex couples by June 20, 2013.

However, the Congress rejected gay marriage legislation in April. Since, the June 20 deadline has passed without any legislation prescribing to how proceed, Colombian gay couples have been confused about how to go about securing legal recognition of their relationships.

(via Blabbeando)


Colombian Gay Couples Unsure About Legal Rights After Court's June 20 Deadline

In 2011, the Colombia Constitutional Court ruled that the nation's congress had to provide full legal recognition of same-sex couples by June 20, 2013.

However, the Congress rejected gay marriage legislation in April. And now that the June 20 deadline has passed without any legislation prescribing to how proceed, Colombian gay couples are confused about how to go about securing legal recognition of their relationships.

The Washington Blade reports:

ColumbiaIt remains unclear whether gays and lesbians can actually tie the knot in Colombia because the court’s ruling did not contain the word “marriage.” The judges instead said same-sex couples could go before a notary or a judge to “formalize and solemnize their contractual link.”

The Colombian newspaper El Tiempo on Thursday reported that Attorney General Eduardo Montealegre Lynett said notaries and judges are free to interpret the court’s decision because there is no law that specifically addresses the issue of relationship recognition. Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez Maldonado and other Colombian officials have said the 2011 ruling did not extend the possibility of marriage rights to same-sex couples.

Some notaries had said before the June 20 deadline that they would not marry same-sex couples, but rather allow them to enter into a “solemn contract” that is similar to an agreement into which two people enter when they buy a house together.

The article goes on to quote Colombian LGBT advocate Wilson Castañeda Castro as rejecting "solemn contracts" and demanding nothing less than marriage from judges and notaries.


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