Friday, 29 April 2016

Colombia legalize same sex marriage

Colombia has become the fourth South American country to allow same-sex marriage after a ruling by the country's constitutional court. The Catholic country follows Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay in formally recognising the rights of same-sex couples to marry.

"The judges affirmed by a majority that marriage between people of the same sex does not violate constitutional order," presiding Judge Maria Victoria Calle told the court.

"The current definition of the institution of marriage in civil law applies to them in the same way as it does for couples of the same sex," she affirmed.

Although previous rulings allowed gay couples to formalise their unions before notaries and judges, same-sex marriage had remained a legal grey area and appeals had been launched against it.

Many officials had refused to register such marriages since congress failed to pass legislation enshrining equal marriage rights in law — prompting protests from gay rights campaigners.

On April 7, the constitutional court dismissed a petition against equal marriage rights for heterosexual and homosexual couples.

That paved the way for Thursday's ruling, which definitively establishes that the constitution guarantees such equality, giving gay couples the legal right to marry.

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