For the first time in Colombia, the partner of a gay policeman was granted access to health benefits, Police announced Thursday.
Fabián Mafuricio Chibcha Romero became the first homosexual partner of a policeman to receive benefits from the police service since Colombia’s Constitutional Court granted equal civil, political, social and economic rights to gay couples in January.
Chibcha Romero’s partner, a 28 year old policeman who prefers not to be named, has served in the police force for 8 years. The couple first applied for health benefits, for which the partners of heterosexual policemen are eligible, on January 11. Their application was denied. They applied again in February, following the Constitutional Court’s ruling and were accepted.
Chibcha Romero officially became a beneficiary on March 17 and became the first homosexual partner of a Colombian policeman to receive health benefits on April 28. Police did not officially confirm the case until Thursday.
Chibcha Romero told El Tiempo that his eligibility for benefits was confusing to those who attended him. “It was funny because the doctor and others did not understand who was the partner and who was the beneficiary. A lot of them asked me if I were the policeman,” he said.
The couple, originally from Boyacá, met on the internet three years ago. In September 30 last year, after having lived together for two years, they decided to formalize their relationship. As same-sex marriage is not legal in Colombia, they signed a de facto marital union certificate.
The National Police Directorate told El Tiempo Thursday that they granted the couple the benefits because they “respect, obey and comply with the rulings of the courts.”
The couple plan to make the most of other benefits afforded to the partners’ of police officers. “We plan to go to the Police Club in Honda (Tolima) and when he [the policeman] has time to apply, maybe the housing allowance too,” said Chibcha Romero.