First Same-Sex Couple Wins Marriage Suit In Colombia

The pair, Diego and Juan, will marry on July 24 under a ruling handed down by a judge in Bogotá. This is the beginning of the next phase of the fight for marriage equality in Colombia.

Albeiro Lopera / Reuters

Participants attend the annual Gay Pride in Medellin, June 30, 2013.

A couple identified as Diego and Juan will become the first same-sex couple to marry in Colombia under a ruling handed down this week by Bogotá Judge Carmen Lucía Rodríguez Díaz. The judge decreed that the wedding will take place on July 24, according to a report from Caracol Radio.

Same-sex couples made a new push for marriage rights after June 20, 2013. That was the deadline set by a 2011 ruling from the Constitutional Court for the country’s congress to pass legislation granting same-sex couples equal rights.

Proposed marriage legislation died this spring in the Senate, which meant that notaries and judges were empowered by the court’s 2011 order to start solemnizing same-sex unions after the deadline passed. But ambiguity in the ruling sparked a new fight over whether these couples were entitled to “matrimony” or an entirely new kind of relationship reserved only for same-sex couples.

The ruling by Judge Carmen Lucía Rodríguez Díaz is the first lower-court victory for same-sex couples seeking marriage equality. More litigation is already pending, and advocates expect the question will come before the Constitutional Court once again before it is finally resolved.

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J. Lester Feder is a world correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. His secure PGP fingerprint is 2353 DB68 8AA6 92BD 67B8 94DF 37D8 0A6F D70B 7211
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