Colombia is considering four bills on gay unions after the nation's Constitutional Court mandated the legal recognition of gay and lesbian couples.

The court's majority agreed that gay couples have the right to form a family and gave Congress two years to legislate on gay unions.

If Congress fails to act by July 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,” said Judge Juan Carlos Henao, the court's president.

Two of the country's dominant political parties and two alternative parties have since introduced legislation that addresses the court's ruling.

The Partido Social de Unidad Nacional, which holds the largest number of Congressional seats, has introduced a civil unions law, while the nation's third largest party, the Partido Liberal Colombiano, is backing a bill that would legalize gay marriage.

The Polo Democratico Alternativo has introduced a gay marriage law and the Partido Verde Colombiano is behind a civil unions bill.

The nation's second largest party, the Partido Conservador Colombiano, a conservative party, has not acted.