A judge in Bogota has annulled
Colombia's first gay marriage.
The September 20 union of Julio Albeiro
Cantor Borbon and William Alberto Castro Franco was declared a
marriage by a Bogota civil court judge. A second couple, Elizabeth
Castillo and Claudia Zea, joined them last week.
Local media reported on Wednesday that
Judge Eduardo Diaz annulled the first marriage on Wednesday, saying
that there is no constitutional right for gay people to marry.
The Husband and Wife Foundation, an
anti-gay group run by Javier Suarez, moved to have the marriage
According to Colombia
Reports, Suarez applauded the ruling and called for the
criminal prosecution of judges who rule in favor of allowing gay
couples to marry, saying that such judges “support illegal acts due
to the fact that they see homosexuality as a 'human right' when it is
really a clinical and psychological problem.”
Gay couples in Colombia turned to the
courts after lawmakers failed to meet a June 20 deadline imposed by
the nation's Constitutional Court.
In 2011, the Constitutional Court ruled
that gay couples had a right to a family and ordered Congress to
remedy the situation. The court said that if a law is not approved
by June 20, 2013, 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.”
A marriage bill died in the Colombia
Senate in April after an ugly debate.
Despite the failure to approve
legislation, opponents insisted that the court's order did not
guarantee marriage for gay couples. Some notaries told couples that
they could enter a “solemn union.” Gay weekly the Washington
Blade described this as a contract “similar to an agreement
into which two people enter when they buy a house together.”