Colombia is on the brink of joining Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay as South American countries that allow same-sex couples to legally marry as its Constitutional Court is set to decide the issue as soon as next Thursday.
The Constitutional Court has been very friendly on LGBTI issues that have been presented to it in recent years, with the court ruling 5-to-4 that people in same-sex relationships should be allowed to adopt their partners’ children in February last year.
It then ruled 6-to-2 in November that they should be allowed to adopt orphans and wards of the state, finding that limiting such children’s options in potential adoptive parents by screening them by sexual orientation ‘limits children’s right to a family.’
Based on those rulings, Colombian commentators think it is almost impossible that those same judges will not also back the legalization of same-sex marriage.
If they do so Colombia would become the fifteenth country to allow same-sex couples to marry.
The proposal that will go before the judges has been prepared by Justice Jorge Pretelt and is seeking for the court to rule on whether the Constitutional Court has the power to legalize same-sex marriage or whether only the Congress can achieve the reform.
Pretelt wants the court to hand the issue to lawmakers and stay out of the issue but it seems almost certainly his is a minority opinion on the court’s bench given its past rulings.
Live-in same-sex relationships in Colombia are already considered to be the legal equivalent of common-law marriages thanks to a 2007 Constitutional Court ruling.