Colombia's highest court on Thursday
held a public hearing on whether the nation should extend marriage
rights to gay and lesbian couples.
The Colombian Constitutional Court
heard testimony from supporters and opponents of marriage equality,
including a representative from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF),
a U.S.-based group strongly opposed to LGBT rights.
The same court in 2011 seemingly
approved such rights, ordering lawmakers in the South American
country to approve legislation within the next two years that would
give gay couples the same benefits as married heterosexual couples.
After lawmakers failed to approve a
marriage bill, a handful of gay couples were able to use the ruling
to convince judges to marry them. The government, however, is
challenging those unions.
Evan Wolfson, president of the
U.S.-based Freedom to Marry, submitted testimony ahead of Thursday's
hearing. Wolfson said in an interview with the Washington
Blade that the Colombian Constitutional Court should follow
the lead of more than 70 American courts that have ruled in favor of
“It is the role of the Constitutional
Court of Colombia, as it was the role of the Supreme Court of the
United States, to act and end discrimination,” Wolfson said.
The Colombian court is expected to hand
down its ruling as early as next month.