Two men on Wednesday became Colombia's first gay couple to marry.

Businessman Carlos Hernando Rivera and Gonzalo Ruiz Giraldo, together more than 20 years, legalized their union before a judge in Bogota, the nation's capital.

“We are civilly married, we have all our civil rights,” Rivera is quoted as saying by Spanish news agency EFE.

However, Judge Carmen Lucia Rodriguez, who officiated the ceremony, avoided using the word “marriage” to define the couple's union. Activists said they expect opponents will attempt to nullify the marriage.

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.”