Colombia: civil union law blocked

Some 10,000 Colombians marched through Bogota’s main avenues on July 1 as part of the worldwide celebrations for International Pride Day (June 28). The march, which went from the National Park to the Plaza de Bolivar, was organized by the Diverse Colombia foundation, and was backed by a number of politicians, including Carlos Gaviria, president of the center-left Alternative Democratic Pole (PDA), and Senator Piedad Cordoba of the Liberal Party. The march was given a somber note by two events in June: the death of 11 legislative deputies held hostage by the FARC in a June 18 incident and the failure of a civil union law to get final approval before Congress recessed on June 20. Some marchers wore black in memory of the deputies; one sign read: “They too deserved to be free.” (Milenio, Mexico, July 1 from Notimex; Terra Espana, July 2 from EFE)

The Chamber of Representatives passed a law allowing same-sex civil unions on June 14; this would have been the first national civil union law in Latin America. Political analysts expected it to be approved by the Senate and signed by rightwing president Alvaro Uribe on June 19. But on June 18 a bloc of legislators from Christian groups forced a second vote in
which a number of deputies changed their position. Senator Armando Benedetti, one of the promoters of the law, said the measure would be reconsidered when Congress resumes on July 20. (El Diario-La Prensa, NY, June 21 from AP]

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, July 8

See our last posts on Colombia and the civil union law.