Colombia’s Senate on Wednesday postponed debate over the controversial gay marriage bill, citing technical difficulties and the need for a public broadcast of the debate.
The vote to again delay the debate came after three hours of discussion. U Party Senator Juan Restrepo suggested the delay, declaring that the importance of the issue to the country warranted a public broadcast. Additionally, the internal television signal transmitting the debate to the House of Representatives had begun to suffer technical difficulties, which further added weight to the proposed delay.
Restrepo’s proposition was subsequently passed by 35 votes to 30, and the next debate is to be televised on Tuesday April 23 on the government’s “Canal Institucional” station, which is accessible country-wide via terrestrial television, and on the internet.
Speaking after the aborted debate, Senator Armando Benedetti, the author of the proposal, said that if Congress fails to pass the bill, it would be “yet more proof that this Congress doesn’t serve any purpose nor represent anyone at all.”
Benedetti was referring to a 2011 ruling by the Constitutional Court, which stated that if no legislation is passed by June 20, 2013, the decision will be taken out of the hands of the Congress, and homosexual couples will be able to go before courts and notaries to have their partnership recognized.
Benedetti also hit out at the government for its silence over the law, stating that “[Minister of the Interior Fernando] Carrillodoesn’t want to bother the Church in case they stop supporting the peace process.”
Hundreds of protesters, both for and against the proposal were demonstrating in Bogota‘s Plaza Bolivar throughout the aborted Congressional debate, and will now have to wait another week to know the future of the law.
The proposed law has provoked a strong reaction from both sides of the debate, with emotions running high after a Congressional forum on the proposal on April 5 ended in a brawl.
- Debate sobre matrimonio homosexual fue aplazado para el próximo martes (El Tiempo)
- Aplazan votación en el Congreso sobre matrimonio gay (Caracol)
- Aplazan hasta el próximo martes la votación sobre matrimonio homosexual (W Radio)
- “Gobierno no se pronuncia sobre matrimonio igualitario para no molestar a la iglesia” (El Espectador)