In a landmark ruling, Colombia’s Constitutional Court has effectively approved same-sex marriage, following approval of adoption by same-sex parents in November.
In a six-to-three vote, judges overturned a proposed ruling that the term “marriage” could only be applied to unions between men and women. The decision is one of the most socially progressive steps the predominantly Catholic nation has taken.
The judges' decision, which has been hailed by the gay community in Colombia, follows in the footsteps of Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil, and took the judges weeks of deliberation.
The ruling, which has been hailed by the gay community in Colombia, follows in the footsteps of Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil
The Court had already recognized same-sex civil unions, but activists urged the authorities to give gay and lesbian couples the same rights as heterosexual marriages. Chile granted same-sex couples civil partnerships in 2015.
EL PAÍS English Edition is launching a weekly newsletter. Sign up today to receive a selection of our best stories in your inbox every Saturday morning. For full details about how to subscribe, click here.
In 2011, the Court recognized that same-sex couples constituted families and gave Congress a deadline by which to pass a law legalizing gay marriage. After lawmakers failed to pass the measure, the Court allowed at least 50 couples to enter into civil unions, while others opted for “contracts” which left them in a legal limbo.
Thursday’s decision means that despite expected challenges in the courts, notary publics or judges in Colombia can no longer refuse to marry same-sex couples.
English version by Dyane Jean François