A judge in Colombia on Thursday cleared the way for two men to legally marry.

In her five page ruling, Carmen Lucia Rodriguez Diaz, a civil judge, “defended the viability of marriage for gay couples,” according to Caracol Radio.

The couple – identified as Diego and Juan – are expected to enter a civil marriage on July 24.

Gay couples in Colombia turned to the courts after lawmakers failed to meet a June 20 deadline imposed by the nation's Constitutional Court.

In 2011, the Constitutional Court ruled that gay couples had a right to a family and ordered Congress to remedy the situation. The court said that if a law is not approved by June 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.”

A marriage bill died in the Colombia Senate in April after a heated debate.

Despite the failure to approve legislation, opponents insisted that the court's order did not guarantee marriage for gay couples. Some notaries told couples that they could enter a “solemn union.” Gay weekly the Washington Blade described this as a contract “similar to an agreement into which two people enter when they buy a house together.”