Colombian voters on Sunday re-elected
President Juan Manuel Santos.
The 62-year-old Santos, in office since
2010, defeated Finance Minister Oscar Ivan Zuluaga by a 51-45 percent
Last month, Santos announced his
support for marriage equality.
“Marriage between homosexuals to me
is perfectly acceptable and what’s more I am defending unions that
exist between two people of the same sex with the rights and all of
the same privileges that this union should receive,” said Santos
May 20 Google hangout hosted by Colombian daily El Tiempo.
“If these unions are called marriage or not is secondary to me. For
me it is important that they have their rights.”
In a candidate questionnaire published
May 15 by the Colombian LGBT rights advocacy group Colombia Diversa,
Santos said he supports a 2011 ruling recognizing the relationships
of gay and lesbian couples.
“This government – and [it] is also
my personal conviction – supports the decisions of the
Constitutional Court in terms of inheritance rights and recognition
of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people,” he
said. “We are and will be respectful of the judicial rulings and
the independence of the branches of public power.”
Zuluaga told Colombia Diversa that he
does not support “marriage between partners of the same sex, nor
adoption,” but agrees with “a legal framework that respects
inheritance rights, civil rights and social security for same-sex
While the court ruled in favor of gay
couples seeking the right to marry, it left implementation up to
lawmakers, giving them 2 years to approve legislation. However,
Colombian lawmakers failed to act before the court's June, 2013
Citing the ruling's stipulation that if
lawmakers do not meet the deadline 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 handful of couples
were allowed to marry. Inspector General Alejandro Ordonez Maldonado
has sued to invalidate the unions.