Colombian Senator Armando Benedetti on Tuesday said he was optimistic that the gay marriage bill he introduced will pass, despite the chaos surrounding recent debates on the issue.
Benedetti, who introduced the gay marriage bill to Colombia’s Congress, told Colombia Reports that the gay marriage bill, originally introduced in late 2012, will become a reality, clearly unintimidated by the fierce opposition to the bill.
“The votes are there. The bill is going to pass,” said Benedetti, senator for the U Party.
BACKGROUND: Colombia’s Senate discusses gay marriage
“It’s a matter of equal rights and granting the same rights to homosexuals as heterosexuals. A gay marriage bill has to pass for the progress of the country,” said Benedetti.
Surprisingly, the senator was highly sceptical of the 2011 Constitutional Court ruling which stated that same-sex couples would automatically be permitted to have their partnerships recognised by law, should Congress fail to pass a gay marriage bill by June 20, 2013.
Senator Benedetti insisted that the judgement was not transparent, and may not lead to homosexual couples gaining the same hereditary and family rights as heterosexuals.
“The part of [the Constitutional Court’s] judgement 577 [on same-sex marriage rights] that urges Congress to establish a law on the matter before June 20 this year – and if not, formal unions of homosexual couples before judges or notaries will automatically take effect – is ambiguous, confusing and does not represent a clear and explicit guarantee for people of the same sex who seek to benefit from the institution of marriage, as it does not use the exact expression ‘marriage’ but ‘contractual tie,’” the Senator explained.
During a congressional debate on April 4, a discussion regarding gay marriage ended in an altercation. In response, Senate president Roy Barreras postponed the second Congressional debate to April 17, until tensions had cooled.
“I will not tolerate hooliganism in congress, nor assaults, nor rows,” said Barreras.
Barreras reportedly told the LGBT community, who are entitled to elect representatives to attend the forthcoming debate, that they are welcome to express their views, provided that they do not hinder the progress of the session.
The same-sex marriage bill has to pass three more rounds of congressional debates in order to become law.
- Interview with Armando Benedetti
- Si no hay ley de Matrimonio Igualitario, parejas homosexuales no se podrán casar: Benedetti (Armando Benedetti website)
- Este lunes se define fecha para debate de matrimonio gay (El Tiempo)