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