The Colombia Senate on Wednesday
postponed taking a vote on a proposed gay marriage bill.
After several hours of debate, leaders
voted 35-30 to put off the vote until Tuesday.
Senate President Roy Barreras had
earlier 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.
Senate shuts down debate on gay marriage after altercation.)
Senator Armando Benedetti, the
measure's champion in the chamber, told colleagues that he nearly
decided to abandon the effort until he heard horrible stories of
Luis Carlos Henao of the National
Family Forum compared sexual orientation to food preferences, saying
that neither can be upgraded to human rights.
Supporters rallied in the Plaza de
Bolivar outside Congress. They wrapped a sculpture of their nation's
hero, Simon Bolivar, with a giant rainbow flag and staged a kiss-in.
Prospects for passage dimmed with the
announcement by the conservative political party La U that they have
the votes needed to kill the measure. Benedetti disagreed with that
assessment, telling Colombia
Reports that the Senate was “divided” over the issue.
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