Colombia Hub

Couple's Gay Nativity Scene Stirs Social Media Furor in Colombia


Andrés Vásquez and Felipe Cárdenas, a gay couple in Colombia, have reportedly stirred up a furor on social media after a photo of their nativity scene featuring two Josephs made its way on to the web, the NY Daily News reports:

Political analyst Vásquez and entrepreneur Felipe have been together for four years and were united by a civil union, the closest thing to marriage for homosexuals in Colombia, three months ago. The gay rights activists told the Diario Veloz website that they set up the scene, a picture of which was then posted on Facebook, in the hope that it would help in bringing about reform in the country's gay marriage laws.

A bill to legalize gay marriage is currently being looked at by the country's politicians and has passed the first of four debates. But it has been dubbed as “unconstitutional” by the nation's conservative lawmakers.

Vásquez told the website: 'We did it because we believe in Colombia. We have lived in different cities in the world and we prefer to return to our country.

 “We are beginning to build [a better country] through our new union,” he said.

Marriage Equality Bill Advances in First of Four Votes in Colombia

A Colombian Senate committee has approved a marriage equality measure, advancing it for further consideration, On Top reports:

ColombiaWith a 10-5 vote, the First Committee (Comision Primera) has approved Senator Armando Benedetti's proposed measure. Benedetti's proposal originally sought to create civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. He has since altered the language to marriage. However, Benedetti's bill would not give married gay couples the right to adopt children.

Tuesday's vote is the first of four needed for the measure to become law.

“In this country homosexuals already have economic rights and social security, therefore it is time to move toward matrimony,” Benedetti is quoted as saying by El Espectador.

In July 2011, Colombia's Constitutional Court ruled that the legislature must pass a same-sex marriage bill within two years or the courts will legalize it.

Gay American Can Adopt Colombian Sons, Says Court


After a year of legal battles, Colombia's Constitutional Court yesterday ruled that American Chandler Burr, a gay author and former New York Times critic, can formally adopt two boys, aged 10 and 13, from the South American nation.

Burr's adoption had previously been revoked after Colombian authorities found out he's gay.

The court ruled that adoption agencies and officials "cannot rely on appearances, preconceptions or prejudices" when reviewing potential parents. Burr's lawyer called the decision "historic" and praised the court for eschewing "irrational religious and conservative influences."

Bogota, Colombia Mayor Creates LGBT Affairs Department

Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro has created a special group to fight sexual orientation and gender based discrimination in Colombia's capital, according to Colombia reports:

PetroThe group, a subcommittee of the city's Social Integration Secretariat, is aimed at raising awareness of important issues in the minority community. The LGBTI Affairs Branch plans to construct a district center that will house educational materials and host events promoting LGBTI culture.

98% of Colombian homosexuals have reported being discriminated against, according to a LGBTI Public Policy poll, as have 96% of bisexuals and just under 100% of transgendered people.

Hillary Clinton Lets Her Hair Down in Cartagena: PHOTOS


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was photographed having some down time on Saturday night in Cartagena Colombia, CNN reports:

Hillary Clinton squeezed in a few moments of fun Saturday evening while attending the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia. Photos showed the top U.S. diplomat dancing and enjoying a bottled beverage at Cafe Havana, a bar described by the Lonely Planet travel guide as the perfect location to "shake your rump."

The guide explains the venue "turns into an all-out salsa throwdown after 11 pm that carries out into the street."

One more shot, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Hillary Clinton Lets Her Hair Down in Cartagena: PHOTOS" »

NEWS: Obama In Colombia, Secret Service In Trouble, Sony In A Hole, Paul McCartney In ASL

Obama Colombia

Road Obama resolutely prohibitionist in war on drugs panel at Colombia's Summit of the Americas:

Obama earlier Saturday left the door open for debate, but made it clear that the United States has a firm stance.

"I think it is entirely legitimate to have a conversation about whether the laws in place are doing more harm than good in certain places," Obama said. "I personally, and my administration's position is, that legalization is not the answer."

Road Meanwhile, his Secret Service agents should have been serviced more secretly:

A group of Secret Service agents and officers sent to Colombia ahead of President Barack Obama were relieved of duty and returned home amid allegations of misconduct that involved prostitution, according to two U.S. government sources familiar the investigation.

The 11 Secret Service members -- both agents and uniformed officers -- were interviewed Saturday at the agency's Washington headquarters, after which they were placed on administrative leave, Assistant Director Paul Morrissey said in a statement.

They are under investigation after preliminary findings revealed that they brought back several prostitutes to the Hotel Caribe in Cartagena,

Road "Q High School": An educational alternative for Phoenix-area LGBT teens.

Road Director of Bully was bullied.

Road Ever wonder what happens at an NRA convention? Pudgy, tomahawk-wielding men do battle. (HT: JoeMyGod)

Road NASA solicits ideas for less expensive, more conservative approach to Mars:

The race to redraw a new, cheaper road map comes two months after NASA pulled out of a partnership with the European Space Agency on two missions targeted for 2016 and 2018, a move that angered scientists. The 2018 mission represented the first step toward hauling Martian soil and rocks back to Earth for detailed study — something many researchers say is essential in determining whether microbial life once existed there.

Agency officials said returning samples is still a priority, but a reboot was necessary given the financial reality.

Road Robin Gibb is in a coma.

Road Ten candidates banned from Egyptian elections:

Egyptian election officials have barred 10 candidates from standing in upcoming polls, including former spy chief Omar Suleiman and the Muslim Brotherhood's Khairat al-Shater.

Ultra-orthodox Salafi Hazem Salah Abu Ismail and long-standing opposition leader Ayman Nour were also banned.

... Mr Suleiman - a former ally of Mr Mubarak whose nomination has sparked protests - was apparently barred because he failed to get enough signatures to endorse his last minute candidacy, our correspondent says.

MyValentineMeanwhile, the hopeful representing the hardline Islamists, Mr Abu Ismail, was ruled out because his mother has American citizenship ...

... As a result, the Muslim Brotherhood are best covered, while the Salafists backing Mr Abu Ismail look to be the hardest hit ...

Road Sony loses $6 billion; remains optimistic.

Road Paul McCartney's new "My Valentine" video: Sedate but lovely, featuring Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp. Watch AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "NEWS: Obama In Colombia, Secret Service In Trouble, Sony In A Hole, Paul McCartney In ASL" »


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