Colombia Hub




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

ChandlerBurrSons

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Burr's adoption had previously been revoked after Colombian authorities found out he's gay.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

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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...

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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" »


Romantically-Involved Colombian Priests Hire Hitmen to Kill Them After Discovering One of Them Has HIV

Two Colombian Roman Catholic priests were murdered in Bogota last year, and investigators have now discovered it was they who planned and carried out their deaths by hiring hitmen to do it, Bikya Masar reports:

PriestsThe Bogota daily El Tiempo reported that the priests hired the killers for about 8,400 dollars.

Public prosecutor Patricia Larrota said Tuesday that the priests, who were apparently romantically involved with each other, had decided to commit suicide because one of them had been diagnosed with syphilis and HIV.

They went to Chicamocha Canyon in northeastern Colombia with the intention to jump to their deaths, but they could not do it: due to a large number of suicides at the site, officials in Santander province had put up barriers.

“Since there were retaining rails, they could not (jump), so the only option they found then was to find a person who ended their lives,” Larrota said.

The priests, Rafael Reatiga and Richard Piffano, were found dead inside a car on January 27, 2011. The authorities first suspected a robbery, since the two men had drawn a large amount of money from the bank a day earlier, when they went missing, and the cash was never found. But the hypothesis lost credibility once the two priests, both aged 30, were found to have settled private matters and cancelled all their appointments after January 26. One of them cancelled christenings he was supposed to officiate, while the other registered all his property in his mother’s name.

Investigators tracked down calls made by the two priests in the hours before they were shot. They came to a gang of hitmen and arrested two of its members, who were formally charged with the crimes Tuesday.

The family has rejected the notion that the priests could have been gay and are demanding their bodies be exhumed to prove it was a robbery-related murder.

Watch a Colombian news report from the day their bodies were discovered,
AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Romantically-Involved Colombian Priests Hire Hitmen to Kill Them After Discovering One of Them Has HIV" »


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