A Colombian senator and promoter of gay marriage has presented a claim before the International Court of Human Rights (ICHR) in defense of the LGBT community in Colombia.
“This claim was put to the Court because here the Inspector General, the judges and Congress systematically fail to respect the rights of the LGBT minority,” said senator Armando Benedetti Villaneda on Wednesday.
He wants the ICHR to “give classes about human rights and the respect of minority groups” to the relevant Colombian institutions.
Last week, a Bogota judge annulled Colombia’s first gay marriage after anti-gay marriage group, The Husband and Wife Foundation, filed a constitutional challenge against an earlier ruling granting the homosexual couple a right to marriage.
Judge Eduardo Diaz ruled against the September ruling granting the marriage, stating that the Constitution did not expressly grant the right to homosexual marriage.
Benedetti told Colombia Reports last week that Diaz’s decision “was backwards,” because same-sex marriage does not infringe upon the rights of anyone else, whereas denying homosexuals the right to marry infringes upon their “fundamental right to raise a family.”
Gay rights activists plan to appeal the ruling, as was confirmed by lawyer and activist Mauricio Albarracin in an interview with Colombia Reports last week, who said that “the court’s decision has no standing.”
He claims that the recent ruling only affects the individual marriage in question, and does not necessarily set a precedent.
Two years ago Colombia’s Constitutional Court ordered the Congress to pass legislation giving same-sex couples the right to civil marriage, and granting it automatically if no such legislation was passed before June 20, 2013. Since Congress failed to pass any legislation in time, Colombian judges began granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples in July.
In Latin America, both Argentina and Brazil have recognized same-sex marriages. While Colombia has not yet settled the question on the legality of same-sex marriage, it does recognize domestic partnerships for same-sex unions, although LBGT rights activists say equal marriage protection necessitates legal civil marriages for homosexual couples.
Demandan ante CIDH derechos para comunidad LGBTI en Colombia (El Espectador)