A bill which would legalize gay
marriage in Colombia has cleared its first hurdle in the Senate.
With a 10-5 vote, the First Committee
(Comision Primera) has approved Senator Armando Benedetti's proposed
measure. Benedetti's proposal originally sought to create civil
unions for gay and lesbian couples. He has since altered the
language to marriage. However, Benedetti's bill would not give
married gay couples the right to adopt children.
Tuesday's vote is the first of four
needed for the measure to become law.
“In this country homosexuals already
have economic rights and social security, therefore it is time to
move toward matrimony,” Benedetti is quoted as saying by El
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.