So all day long I kept checking the Colombian Constitutional Court's website but it's been off-line all day long.
The work day over, I took the subway home and saw a blinking light on my answering machine: "Andres, the Constitutional Court just accepted a challenge against a law... and what it means, the admission of the challenge, it's that patrimony rights will be recognized for same sex couples in Colombia... We'll talk later, I love you lots!"
So once again leave it to my dad in Colombia to break the sweet news!
Tonight, El Tiempo says that the Constitutional Court took pains to explain that this in no way means "marriage" and that it's still up to the legislative branch to decide on "marriage" or "civil union" rights for same-sex couples, but by acknowledging the suit the Court accepted Colombia Diversa's arguments that the language in Law 54 of 1990 that only allows patrimony rights between "a man and a woman" in a common-law relationship is unconstitutional and violates the rights of same-sex couples.
The paper says that the Court's decision means that all gay couples in Colombia who can demonstrate having lived together for more than two years will now have access to all the "patrimonial" or property rights that are available to opposite sex couples engaged in a civil union.
It is still unclear to me (as well as to Colombia Diversa) just how big of an impact the ruling will have on future legislative discussions about granting same-sex partners the right to enter into a civil union but it is the first time that same-sex couples are being recognized as a family unit.
A historic day indeed. Kudos to the Colombia Diversa team.
UPDATE: CM& News reports that the Constitutional Court vote was 8 to 1.
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