Showing posts with label gay rights. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gay rights. Show all posts

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Scenes from Bogotá's 2013 Gay Pride Parade

Bogotá's annual Gay Pride Parade had its usual color and flamboyance. It also came at a time of advance for gay rights. Two weeks ago, the notaries introduced new same-sex unions, which provide such couples with most rights of marriage, altho they don't use the word 'matrimony'.

As always, I wonder whether in-your-face spectacles like today's do the gay community any favors in the view of the conventional majority. After all, if sexual minorities want to be seen as neighbors, relatives and co-workers who just happen to have a different sexual orientation, this sort of spectacle doesn't help.

Paraders satirized the Catholic Church and hard-line conservative Ordoñez, who opposed expanded rights for gays.

Biblical matrimony?

Catholic Church: Drop the homophobia and hypocrisy!

Free people, secular countries.

I'm hetrosexual and in support.

A man representing conservative procurador Ordoñez leads the enslaved by the neck.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Gay Marriage Postponed - Again

A gay man holds aloft a sign saying that he supported religious freedom in Colombia.
 Legislators postponed a vote on legalizing gay marriage - once again. But not before a conservative congressman called gay sex "scatological and for purely recreative ends." I wonder whether he intends to prohibit all non-reproductive sex, and how he expects to do that.
Riot police line the Congress building. But these crowds were peaceful. 

Gay marriage opponents wave Colombian flags. 
Gay marriage supporters unfurl a diversity banner on Plaza Bolivar.
Authorities had set up a barrier in front of the Congress building to separate the anti- and pro-gay marriage demonstrators, on the left and right respectively.
A gay marriage opponent, left, and a proponent, right, debate across the barrier. 
A gay marriage supporter yells across the barrier.

City Hall, headed by leftist Mayor Gustavo Petro, didn't hide its preferences, with this banner saying 'Equality for Everybody.'

Gay rights activists display signs pointing out that Colombia has no state religion and that the Bible includes arcane rules that almost nobody obeys, such as a prohibition against eating shellfish. 
A gay marriage opponent holds up a sign saying that 'Bad has been called good and good called bad.'
A woman in the anti-gay marriage crowd holds a Bible in her uplifted hands.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

No Gay Marriage - For Now

A crowd of gay marriage opponents wave colorful banners. 
Hundreds of people demonstrated outside of Congress today, some for, and most against, a gay marriage bill which was coming up for a vote. Last year, the Supreme Court ordered Parliament to either legalize gay marriage or create something equivalent for same-sex couples. If the legislature did not act, then same-sex couples are to be allowed to register their relationships as marriages.

Gay marriage appeared headed for defeat, but the vote was postponed until next week for technical reasons. But whether it's next week, next year or five years from now, gay marriage will inevitably become legal in Colombia, as it has recently in Uruguay and Argentina.

These women's signs assert that the court did not order congress to legalize gay marriage. 

A small group of gay and lesbian activists.

Demonstrators carry a gay rights rainbow flag beside another group's sign saying that a family consists of a mother and a father. 

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

Monday, September 3, 2012

The 'Ideal' Adoptive Family

The ideal family?
The ideal family?

Colombia's supreme court seems set to reject adoption by same-sex couples because they supposedly aren't 'morally ideal.' This morning I heard a Catholic priest and spokesman for the church praise this position. Gay couples fall short of being morally ideal, he asserted, because, well, they fall short of being 'morally ideal'. Responsible same-sex couples were 'exceptions' he said, as were irresponsible heterosexual couples. He didn't offer any evidence to back this up, suggesting to me that he's basing his position on church doctrine.

But Colombia stopped being an officially Catholic nation when it wrote its new Constitution in 1991.

The ideal
In fact, studies have shown that children of same-sex couples, at least female ones, actually outperform those of heterosexual couples, on average. That's because they tend to be planned, highly desired children, since same-sex couples can't have kids the traditional, easy way that hetero couples do.

The ideal father?
What is the 'ideal' couple? Straight? Gay? Catholic? Protestant? Rich? Poor? Black? White? What about single-parent families?

In fact, none of these criteria can work. Parents should be loving, dedicated and responsible, with enough resources to provide a healthy upbringing and motivated to provide a stimulating environment for their kids. Tryin to apply simplistic criteria is absurd and a real disservice to the many thousands of Colombian orphans waiting to be adopted by loving parents.

The existing Law of Infancy and Adolescence stipulates that adopting must 'guarantee that they are physically, mentally, morally and socially ideal.'

That's a lot to ask, whatever it means, and I'm sure it's never fulfilled.

Even the whole 'ideal' goal is a mistake. Life in orphanages is so far from 'ideal' that just 'good' families should be good enough.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours