The Colombian Congress is debating same-sex marriage for the seventh time, with less than a year before the end of a deadline set by the country’s Supreme Court for lawmakers to act on the issue.
The current bill has been sponsored by Alternative Democratic party representative Alba Luz Pinilla and seeks to change the definition of marriage in Colombia’s Civil Code to include same-sex couples.
If the Congress fails to act before June 20 next year then same-sex couples will automatically be allowed to have their relationships registered by notaries and courts and then have all the rights and legal responsibilities as married couples thanks to a 2011 Supreme Court verdict.
Pinilla told Colombia Reports that if same-sex couples were to have all those same rights, it was only right to call their relationships marriages.
‘If this is so, why not call it a marriage? The only reason to call it by another form is that discrimination continues against the LGBT population,’ Pinilla said.
Another lawmaker, Miguel Gomez, has put forward a bill to recognize the property rights of all committed couples regardless of gender.
However bills legalizing same-sex marriage have already been proposed and defeated six times in the Colombian Congress and religious conservatives remain resolutely opposed on the issue in the majority Catholic South American nation.