Um, yay?

Colombia’s Constitutional Court ruled that the legislature must pass a same-sex marriage bill within two years.  If the legislature fails to act, same-sex couples will be able to formalize their unions before a notary public or a court.  This is a momentous step, although it seems like the LGBT community of Colombia actually feels let down.  CNN reports that activists see it as a victory.

The Colombian legislature is split between allies and bigots.  From an American point of view, the Constitutional Court took a tremendously positive step, but I can also see why the Colombian LGBT community is unhappy.  It leaves the specifics to a legislature that will more likely than not drag its feet, and that has, multiple times in the past, rejected same-sex marriage bills. There is, as expected, opposition in the government.

It is unclear what will happen.  The Court ruled that same-sex couples in de facto unions constituted a family.  However, the Court did not necessarily say the legislature had to call it marriage.  Nor did the Court extend marriage to same-sex couples as advocates had hoped.  In theory the legislature could pass something like civil unions, although I am not an expert in Colombian law, so I cannot speak to the available options.

More on this story as it develops (no doubt at a snail’s pace.)  In the meantime, I understand Uruguay is on the verge of passing a same-sex marriage bill.

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