Judges allow first same-sex marriages in Colombia

Two civil court judges have begun marrying same-sex couples in Colombia after two couples sought to get married after a Constitutional Court deadline for the Congress to act had passed

Judges allow first same-sex marriages in Colombia
01 October 2013

Colombia had its first same-sex marriages last week after two civil court judges decided that the passing of a Constitutional Court deadline meant that they could now do so.

Colombia’s Constitutional Court had ordered the Colombian Congress to act to provide same-sex couples with the same-rights and recognition by 20 June this year or same-sex couples would automatically be eligible to apply for civil marriages.

Colombian attorney and LGBT rights advocate Germán Humerto Rincón Perfetti announced the marriage of Julio Albeiro Cantor Borbón and William Alberto Castro Franco last Wednesday, and Colombia’s The Spectator newspaper announced the marriage of Elizabeth Castillo and Claudia Zea on Sunday.

‘I join you in a legitimate civil matrimony with all the prerogatives and rights that civil law grants you and the same obligations imposed by civil law,’ the judge presiding over the women’s case said according to Blabbeando.

On 24 July another civil court judge declared another couple to be legal spouses but stopped short of declaring the couple to be married.

After the Constitutional Court deadline passed the director of the agency that overseas notary offices in Colombia ordered notaries to not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and instead provide them with something called a ‘solemn union.’

However there is no such thing as a ‘solemn union’ in Colombian law and Colombian LGBT activists knew they could they could tackle the issue to the courts.

Colombia’s Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez has said he will fight courts allowing same-sex marriages and has sought to fast track a legal appeal to these first marriages in order to stop further marriages taking place.

If Ordoñez fails, Colombia will officially join Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil to become the fourth South American nation to allow same-sex marriage and will join Mexico as the fifth Latin American nation where same-sex marriages are performed.

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