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Municipal judge poised to marry first gay couple in Colombia

BOGOTA, Colombia – A Municipal Court judge has agreed to marry two men identified only as Diego and Juan on July 24 in Bogota, which would become the first same-gender couple to wed in Colombia.

The ruling is generating quite a bit of publicity in Colombia, since lawmakers failed to meet a June 20 deadline imposed by the Colombian Constitutional Court to create an equivalency of marriage for same-gender couples.

Judge Carmen Lucia Rodriguez Diaz, head of the Municipal Civil Court 67 in Bogota, accepted the application by Diego and Juan to formalize their relationship, according to Caracol Radio.

The judge ruled that same-gender couples are entitled to the same rules laid down for opposite-gender couples in the nation's Civil Code. The judge set July 24 as the day for Diego and Juan to "solemnize their union" in the presence of two witnesses.

Colombia’s high court had given Congress two years to implement its edict, but lawmakers allowed a marriage bill to die in the Senate in April and did nothing since.

The high court said two years ago that if the Congress refused to act by the deadline, gay couples will automatically have the right to go to any notary public or judge in the country to formalize their union. But on June 20, gay and lesbian couples who attempted to marry were met with resistance or confusion. Some notaries refused to marry them, citing religious beliefs. Some offered them the option of a “solemn union,” but no laws in Colombia define the rights of a “solemn union.”