Debate on a gay marriage bill in the
Colombia Senate has been tabled after supporters were assaulted on
Colombia Senate President Roy Barreras
on Friday postponed next week's debate over the incident.
“I have decided to suspend the
discussion of this debate until we meet with the leaders of this
community LGBTI and define with them the rules for participating with
full guarantees, but with deep respect for those who think
differently,” Barreras said in a statement.
Angelica Lozano, a councilor for
Colombia's capital of Bogota, told Caracol
Radio that security guards physically scuffled with a gay rights
activist during a congressional forum on the issue.
“The activist began to shout, he was
immediately booed, various people rushed over, we are not sure if
they were bodyguards,” she said. “But by the end of the struggle
we had been hit.”
The forum on the proposed marriage bill
was organized by Senators Edgar Espindola and Claudia Wilches,
opponents of marriage equality.
In a video posted online, activists are
heard chanting, “We deserve respect!” as the activist demands to
be heard. (The video is embedded on this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)
The nation's Constitutional Court in
2011 ordered Congress to approve a law recognizing gay couples before
June 20, 2013. If a law is not approved by that date, 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