Saturday, June 16, 2007

Gay Rights in . . . Colombia???

The Colombian legislature has voted to recognize same-sex unions.

"I think this is an incredible victory that should resonate across both continents, north and south," said Scott Long, director of the gay rights program at Human Rights Watch in New York. "It should definitely be an example to the United States. Colombia is a country that's Catholic, with a conservative government, and they still recognize that this is the right thing to do."

Colombia, like most Latin American countries, does not have fundamentalist groups with the kind of influence and funding to launch a national campaign against gay rights. But it does have a powerful Catholic Church, which argued that extending rights to same-sex couples would violate church doctrine. "This gives legal sanctity to families that are artificial and false," said José Galat, a prominent Catholic activist.

After a long public battle, advocates from groups such as Diverse Colombia slowly won over many lawmakers in Congress. Among those who support the bill is President Álvaro Uribe, a conservative Catholic. He is expected to sign the measure.

OK, there's still that matter of paramilitaries and of half of US military aid going right back to American contractors, but still . . .

1 comment:

Simon said...

Jeff, if you'd ever watched Halfway Home you'd know that Colombia already exports the world's finest and most numerous male prostitutes. Why should their native country deny them the right to marry rich American men?