Love Wins in Columbia

By Christian Meade

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In a landmark decision, Colombia’s Constitutional Court has approved a bill that now allows same-sex couples to marry. The 6-3 ruling now makes Colombia the 20th country in the world to pass marriage equality laws and only the fourth country in South America along with Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay.

“Today’s ruling by Colombia’s Constitutional Court marks an important moment for LGBT Colombians, and we congratulate the country’s many LGBT advocates who helped make this day possible,” said Jean Freedberg, Deputy Director of HRC Global. “Following victories for LGBT advocates in Ireland in May and in the United States in June, today’s ruling makes clear that global momentum for marriage equality has continued to grow, and we’re hopeful that other nations will provide same-sex couples the right to marry the person they love in the year ahead.”

Colombia has slowly been moving away from its previous conservative stance on LGBT issues and working towards equality starting in 2007 when unmarried same-sex couples were granted pension benefits, social security, and property and inheritance rights. Later in 2011, the Constitutional Court ruled that same-sex couples should be considered a family and their rights should be acknowledged. The country took another big step in November of last year when it lifted a ban that prohibited same-sex couples from adopting.

Director of Marriage Equality, Brian Silva, spoke highly of the court’s decision saying it was “great for the Colombian people but even greater for people around the world still fighting for marriage equality.”