After a bumpy start, the Colombia Senate will open its debate on a proposed gay marriage bill on Wednesday, April 17.

Colombia Senate President Roy Barreras said in an announcement that LGBT community leaders may choose a spokesman to participate in the debate, the Spanish news agency AFP reported.

Last week, Barrerras postponed the April 10 start of the debate after an activist was assaulted during a congressional forum on the issue organized by Senators Edgar Espindola and Claudia Wilches, both of whom are opposed to marriage equality.

(Related: Colombia Senate shuts down debate on gay marriage after altercation.)

The measure, which is sponsored by Senator Armando Benedetti, was approved by the First Commission of the Senate last December.

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 heterosexual couple.”