The largest anti-government guerilla group operating in Colombia has come out in favor of the country’s Constitutional Court’s decision to allow same-sex couples to adopt children they are not related to.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have been fighting the Colombian Government since 1965.
In that time over 200,000 people have been killed on all sides of the conflict, creating thousands of orphans.
Now the FARC are happy that gay and lesbian couples will be there to take care of some of those orphans.
‘We celebrate the recent ruling of the Constitutional Court aimed at protecting the rights of orphans to have a family, while recognizing the right of same-sex couples to adopt,’ FARC commander Carlos Antonio Lozada said in a statement distributed online.
The FARC have been engaging with an ongoing peace process with the Colombian Government since 2012 and Lozada said that he hoped that it would result in a new Colombia in which ‘discrimination and secular abandonment of excluded groups become a thing of the past.’
‘Hateful segregation marginalizes not only LGBTI people, but millions of their compatriots, especially for economic reasons, mainly affecting women, indigenous people, peasants, Afro-Colombians, the elderly and children.’
Lozada said that while structural imbalances would not correct themselves, the court’s decision was symbolic that, ‘something is moving in the depths of Colombian society – something is changing and for the better.’
The FARC is a Marxist-Leninist group and its stated position in the past on same-sex marriage has been to do away with the institution of marriage entirely rather than open it up to LGBTI people.
The FARC have been designated as a terrorist group by some countries because of their use of bombings and assassinations and they have funded their operations using kidnappings, illegal mining, extortion and taxation of economic activity in the areas they hold – as well as the production and distribution of illegal drugs.
The group has also been criticized for its use of child soldiers and earlier this year it pledged to discharge all fighters who are under the age of 15 and to stop recruiting those under 17.