Friday, September 15, 2006

Colombia: TV PSA on behalf of same-sex couples

TO VIEW FULL VIDEO CLIP CLICK HERE (courtesy of Colombia Diversa)

[TRANSLATION - PSA: Vivieron en pareja 30 anos]

They lived as a couple for thirty years

They bought their home
They paid for their daily meals
They paid for their television set, their clothes, their stereo system
They paid for some books in monthly installments and some vacation evenings were put on credit

And now, she's been left alone
And the only thing she inherited were those vacation evenings for which she still owes the credit cards
And that's because her partner was another woman

The law does not recognize any of her rights
There is no right!

[CM& Television, for people's rights]

Back in March, we said that Colombia was poised to become the first nation in South America to extend some legal rights to same-sex couples on a national scale after conservative president Alvaro Uribe made a surprise announcement that, while he wouldn't support marriage for gay couples, he would back legislation to protect their inheritance rights and social security benefits. His remarks came during his re-election campaign at a time where some presidential candidates were backing full marriage rights for gays.

With the sudden announcement, a little-known bill that had been languishing in the Colombian Senate was brought back to life and almost reached the Senate floor for approval earlier this week. Though it's not the first time that a bill such as this has been drafted or reached the Colombian Senate floor (the last one, presented by Senator Piedad Cordoba reached the Senate floor but was thrown out on a technicality before debate even began), it would be the first time that such a bill enjoys the backing of a sitting Colombian president. Senate debate on the bill is now scheduled as the first order of business this coming Tuesday, September 19th.

Editorially, the major newspapers and television news opinion leaders in Colombia have always been progressive on this issue, with El Tiempo being the first major newspaper in South America to editorialize in favor of full marriage rights years ago (not surprisingly, they are urging passage of this bill as well).

Still, when the producers of "CM& News" launched a new public service campaign earlier this week to promote human rights in Colombia, it surprised me that they chose to do so with an amazing clip on behalf of legal rights for same-sex couples (apparently to coincide with the Senate debate). We'll have to wait to see if the bill becomes law.

As for the potential of Colombia becoming the first South American nation to pass nation-wide legal recognition to same-sex couples (some municipalities and districts in Argentina and Brazil already do but not nationally), that will probably not be the case as Uruguay seems poised to pass a national civil union bill in the next few days which seems to be even more comprehensive than the limited rights being debated in Colombia.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Uruguay many beat Columbia. Uruguay's lower house is expected to pass a civil unions bill already passed by the Senate soon.

Andrés Duque said...

Hm, yeah. That's what I wrote at the end of the post. By the way, it's Colombia, not Columbia.