Debates continued Wednesday with less than a year for Colombian Congress to legislate on gay marriage.
A new initiative concerning marriage between two people of the same sex was radicated in Congress by representative Alba Luz Pinilla, who believes that marriage should not be restricted to only heterosexual couples.
The new bill looks to change the definition of marriage in the Civil Code so that same-sex couples can celebrate civil unions. Because of a mandate from Colombia’s Supreme Court, Congress is obligated to legislate on gay marriage before June 20, 2013.
If Congress does not pass legislation in that time, homosexual couples will be permitted to go before a notary or a court to have their partnership recognized. These formal unions would not technically be marriages, but would grant gay couples all the same rights as heterosexual couples.
“If this is so, why not call it a marriage? The only reason to call it by another form is that discrimination continues against the LGBT population,” said Pinilla.
On August 6, legislator Miguel Gomez radicated a project to regulate relationships for property rights, food, relief and social security between stable couples, whether they be heterosexual or homosexual. Yet another congresswoman, Ivan Cepeda, said that she hopes the equality of rights gets the green light this time because it would support the breaking any kind of discrimination that exists in the country.
A bill to recognize gay marriage has already been proposed and defeated six times in the Colombian Congress, and conservative politicians and the country’s organized religions remain opposed to recognizing gay marriage.