Colombia Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

1392509_rainbow_flag.jpgColombia’s highest court issued a ruling yesterday granting same-sex couples the right to marry. This holding follows the court’s landmark decision in 2015 to extend adoption rights to same-sex couples. The South American country has long been engaged in the fight for marriage equality. Although same-sex couples were permitted to enter into civil unions and receive the same benefits as married heterosexual couples (such as health insurance, social security, and inheritance), they were denied the right to wed. In 2011, the same court held that same-sex couples could register their relationship if lawmakers failed to pass a bill in two years creating a marriage designation for same-sex unions. Colombia’s congress thwarted this order, and the deadline passed in 2013. As a result of the lawmakers’ failure to act, some courts and public notaries began to register the civil unions as marriages, while others did not. A dispute ensued, giving rise to yesterday’s decision.

Colombia now joins Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay in legalizing same-sex marriage. Chile is also paving the way for marriage rights in Latin America. The nation instituted a law permitting same-sex couples to enter into civil unions in October 2015. Stay tuned to our blog for exciting developments in this area of the law!

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Remember, these blog posts are not meant to be legal advice. You should consult an attorney to discuss the specifics of your situation.

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