A gay couple from Bogota on Wednesday was the first in Colombia to get legally married despite vociferous opposition from the Catholic Church and conservative politicians.
“We are happy and married civilly,” businessman Gonzalo Ruiz said after a judge determined Ruiz’ union with partner Carlos Hernando Rivera a marriage.
The Bogota judge told the newly-weds that while they were now officially married, the judicial official was not able to call the wedding a “matrimony” “because that figure of authority is not conformed.”
The official wedding was attended by two witness and a representative of the Prosecutor General, whose office immediately called to nullify the wedding.
Prosector General Alejandro Ordoñez is a staunch catholic and — in accordance to the dogmas of his beliefs — on several occasions fiercely opposed gay marriage.
The appeal was immediately denied by the Constitutional Court, which had ordered Colombia’s Congress to come up with legislation two years ago, while ruling that if Congress proved unable to come up with legislation within two years, gay couples would automatically be granted the same rights as straight couples.
In spite of ongoing resistance from the Prosecutor General and the church, the married couple received loud applause from their friends.
Gay rights lawyer German Rincon told newspaper El Espectador that the wedding was “an historic act” and an important step towards equal rights to Colombia’s LGBT community.
However, the attorney also stressed that the judge’s specification of his choice of words and the fact that there is no matrimony implicates that gay couples are still unable to adopt children.
“He granted them the civil status but did not use the word ‘matrimony’,” reiterated the lawyer.
Neverthless, “this couple has the civil status of married and has all the rights they asked for. This is a major advantage and we are celebrating this ruling,” said Rincon.