Colombia – LGBT community in wait before legal ambiguities

  • February 12, 2015
  • News

haringfam-750782Despite the fact that the Colombian Constitutional Court has expressed its support to the LGBT community in areas such as the right to inherit, the recognition of civil unions, social security to same-sex couples; on the topic of equal marriage and adoption, the Colombian Government hasn’t done much about it.

Regarding same-sex marriage, the 2011 C-577 law established that same-sex couples also represent a family. However, due to lack of consensus, instead of declaring that same-sex couples had the right to get married, the Court used the term “solemnization of union”, which created a legal ambiguity, since some judges have already married couples, while others say it is not possible, because the Court does not use the term marriage, and “solemnization” is not a regulated status. In addition to that, it would be discriminatory, since it provides less benefits than marriage between heterosexual couples.

On the other hand, the subject of adoption remains a little complicated. First it was clarified that sexual orientation does not imply any impediment to be able to adopt. However, it was only valid for individuals, not for same-sex couples.

It was expected that last February 4th, the Constitutional Court stated in favor of the right to adoption by same-sex couples. However, the vote ended in a tie, so it was needed to appoint an associate judge, someone randomly selected, within a group of outstanding lawyers, in order to break ties.

The associate judge is José Roberto Herrera, a judge with extensive experience in the high courts, but of conservative tendencies.

“We are confident on the Court and on the associate judge, since we cannot know the previous judgments, nor the rights already granted to the LGBT community. I think there are reasons to be optimistic.” Said the Congresswoman and LGBT activist, Angélica Lozano.

The appointment of the associate judge expires in March of this year, so it still cannot be defined the time the judge will take to decide. Until now the subject of equal adoption remains in question.