Colombia’s State Council will investigate whether the Congress’ president violated legislative regulations when making a deal with pro-life activists to not support gay marriage or abortion.
The State Council is due to hear witness statements from two pastors as part of a lawsuit against Congress President Roy Barreras, who is accused of compromising his position after signing a “Christian pact” promising not to support gay marriage or abortion.
The pact came to light on April, 16, during ongoing gay marriage debates in congress, and was also signed by pastors Jhon Milton Rodriguez and Luis Ernesto Correa Pinto, who will both give evidence to the court on June, 25.
Barreras is being tried for improper use of public money as well as violating the rules on conflict of interest after signing the deal in January, 2010 while campaigning for the senate elections. Barreras signed the agreement along with a number of church leaders from the Political Committee for the Mission of Peace in the southern department of Valle del Cauca. The politician went on to win 83 thousand votes from the region.
The revelations of the pact came at a particularly awkward time for Barreras, as in April this year he was acting as congress president during discussions over a controversial gay marriage bill. Barreras was condemned by critics who felt he had compromised his positive, a claim he denied.
In the second round of discussions, the gay marriage bill was rejected at the end of April, 2013 with a majority of 51 to 17. Congress had previously been warned by the Constitutional Court that if they did not pass a gay marriage bill by June, 20, same-sex couple would automatically be entitled to have their partnership recognized before a judge.