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Colombia’s Inspector General may go to highest court to annul first gay marriage

posted by Taran Volckhausen
Colombia’s Inspector General may go to highest court to annul first gay marriage

Alejandro Ordoñez (Photo: Inspector General's Office)

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Colombia’s Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez said Friday that he plans to solicit Colombia’s top Constitutional Court for a revision of a recent Bogota court ruling that reversed the annulment of the country’s first same-sex marriage.

The marriage was reinstated on Thursday after a Bogota court rejected the grounds of the challenge to the marriage brought to a lower civil court by Ordoñez, who claimed that the marriage infringed on the constitutional rights of Colombian citizens by threatening the traditional definition of marriage as between a “man and a woman.”

MORE: Court order revokes annulment of Colombia’s first gay marriage

While the Inspector General’s Office told Colombia Reports that Ordoñez was still “evaluating” the decision, a report surfaced in newspaper El Colombiano that Ordoñez was planning to challenge the ruling by petitioning the country’s highest court to take up the case and reverse the verdict.

“The Inspector General’s Office will ask that the Constitutional Court take up the case and revise the ruling relating to the constitutional challenge and the final verdict,” he said.

Ordoñez, a devoted Catholic and staunch conservative, has been accused of “cronyism” and having “unconstitutional connections” within the Senate body that elected him to office.

MORE: Inspector general violated constitution in election: Opposition

The controversy surrounding gay marriage in Colombia comes after a 2011 Constitutional Court order demanded that Congress pass legislation giving same-sex couples the right to civil marriage. If Congress didn’t pass any legislation before June 20, 2013, then the court would begin granting same-sex marriages automatically. Congress failed to pass any civil marriage legislation in time and in July Colombian judges began granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Gay rights activists and lawyer Mauricio Albarracin told Colombia Reports that the recent Bogota court ruling is only binding in the Bogota Tribunal court’s jurisdiction, and that a constitutional rights infringement challenge remains against another gay marriage granted recently in a different part of Colombia.

He said he was “not sure” about the likelihood of the Constitutional Court taking up the case once again on the issue of gay marriage.

“This is a triumph in the long road to achieve full equality for same-sex couples [in Colombia], and it is still not over,” said Albarracin.

MORE: Colombia gay rights proponents to fight annulment of same-sex marriage

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About the author

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Taran Volckhausen received his B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Colorado at Boulder. As a multimedia journalist, Taran covers issues related to peace, health, environment, technology and culture.

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