Sunday, June 16, 2013

Not Quite Marriage Equality

These folks were demonstrating in favor of 'marriage equality' today in front of Bogotá's Parque Nacional.

Legislation to legalize gay marriage failed in Congress recently. But a Supreme Court ruling requires notaries to provide same-sex couples with an option similar to marriage. So, last week the organization of notaries, who register relationships, issued a document titled 'Formalization and solemnization of the contractual relationship,' to formally unite same-sex couples.

The document does not use the term 'matrimony,' but such couples are to have nearly all the same rights as married heterosexual couples, except for adoption. Also, significantly, notaries are not permitted to refuse to perform same-sex unions by pleading conscientous objection, even tho the Catholic Church has said that performing such a union is a sin. (Doctors are allowed to refuse to perrform an abortion by pleading concientous objection.)

In any case, this is a step forward for gay couples, and I expect that Colombia will legalize gay marriage within a few years.

The demonstrators in the National Park said they're not satisfied with the notaries' policy. But, I suspect that if you'd asked them a decade ago, they wouldn't have hoped to have gotten this far by now.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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