Three gay men have become the first polyamorous relationship to be officially recognized in Colombia.
Victor Hugo Prada, an actor, ‘married’ sports instructor John Alejandro Rodriguez and journalist Manuel Jose Bermudez in Medellin on Saturday. The thruple – three people in a relationship – signed legal documents with a solicitor officially recognizing their relationship.
The men have been in their polyamorous relationship – known as a trieja in Spanish – since 2013. They did have a fourth partner, 25-year-old Alex Esnéider Zabala. But Zabala died from stomach cancer in 2015.
‘When Alex died, we did not have any documents and it was a difficult process to reclaim his social security and assets. So these papers protects us against anyone who wants to make any claims of this kind,’ Prada told W Radio.
‘We are based on a matter of coexistence and solidarity. Here there are no powers, there are no roles, you have to negotiate. Here we all come under the same conditions.’
Bermudez told Colombian media that they wanted to make their relationship official.
‘We wanted to validate our household… and our rights, because we had no solid legal basis establishing us as a family,’ he said.
‘This establishes us as a family, a polyamorous family. It is the first time in Colombia that has been done.’
LGBTI lawyer and advocate, German Rincon Perfetti, said the attention the thruple have received has been important for the visibility of polyamorous relationships. He said while many polyamorous couples exist in Colombia, the men’s was the first to be made official.
‘It is a recognition that other types of family exist,’ he told AFP.
Last year Colombia became the fourth country in South America to legalize same-sex marriage. Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil also have marriage equality.