Colombia: As Court Deadline Passes, Gay and Lesbian Couples Seek Legal Recognition

Written by scott on June 21st, 2013

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A court deadline came and went yesterday in Colombia, and was no action for the legislature, gays and lesbians are now entitled to the same recognitions as straight couples in the country. The only question is what that will look like. The Washington Blade reports:

Gays and lesbians approached notaries and judges across the country with the hope they would be able to enter into a civil marriage. These include three same-sex couples who submitted paperwork to a municipal civil court in Bogota, the Colombian capital, seeking the ability to tie the knot. “There are many couples like us in this country who have found their relationships have reached the point of committing themselves in civil marriage,” Elizabeth Castillo, who has been with her partner, Claudia Zea for four years, said during a press conference outside the court. “For gay people to marry is an act of valor.”

What kind of recognition they will get remains unclear:

It 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 Ordonez Maldonado and other Colombian officials have said the 2011 ruling did not extend the possibility of marriage rights to same-sex couples.

Of course, legislative action could have cleared this all up, but conservatives blocked the proposed bill back in April in the Senate.


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