The Colombia Senate is considering
whether to approve a bill which would legalize gay marriage in the
largely Roman Catholic nation.
Senator Armando Benedetti's proposal
originally sought to create civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.
He's since altered the language to marriage. However, Benedetti's
bill would not give married gay couples the right to adopt children.
Espectador reported that the marriage bill was officially
filed on Wednesday.
“In this country homosexuals already
have economic rights and social security, therefore it is time to
move toward matrimony,” Benedetti is quoted as saying.
A vote in the Senate could come as
early as next week.
Last year, Colombia's Constitution
Court upheld marriage as a heterosexual union but gave lawmakers an
ultimatum: recognize gay unions before July 20, 2013 or we'll do it
According to the order, if Congress
fails to act, then “gay couples can go to a notary and with the
same solemnity of a heterosexual marriage enter a union similar to
one between a heterosexual couple,” said Judge Juan Carlos Henao,
the court's president.
In response, lawmakers have introduced
several competing bills.