Colombian Constitutional Court legalises marriage equality

Pic: El Espectador / YouTube

Pic: El Espectador / YouTube

A ruling by Colombia’s Constitutional Court has made same-sex marriage legal in the predominantly Catholic Latin American country.

On Thursday, six judges voted in favour and three against marriage equality, in a judgement that found that “all human beings … have the fundamental right to be married with no discrimination”.

The case centred on four couples who took the matter to the court to secure clarity on the legal recognition of same-sex relationships in the country.

A small group of activists holding rainbow balloons and a rainbow flag celebrated outside the court on the steps of the Palace of Justice in Bogotá. They chanted: “Equal in taxes, equal in rights!”

This makes Colombia the fourth country in South America to offer their gay and lesbian citizens full marriage rights, after Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.

“We are super happy,” activist Luis Felipe Rodríguez told The Guardian. “This is a victory against all the conservative political parties, against the Catholic church and everyone who tried to block our rights.”

Jean Freedberg, Deputy Director of Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Global, applauded the news. “Following victories for LGBT advocates in Ireland in May and in the United States in June, today’s ruling makes clear that global momentum for marriage equality has continued to grow, and we’re hopeful that other nations will  provide same-sex couples the right to marry the person they love in the year ahead.”

The court’s decision was not unexpected. It previously ruled in 2011 that same-sex couples must be granted the same rights as heterosexual married couples. The ruling, however, was unclear as to the legality of same-sex marriage itself.

Colombia has been one of the most progressive nations in the region when it comes to legislation protected LGBT equality; including anti-discrimination laws in employment, provision of services, adoption, gender identity and other areas.

Get the Mamba Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend