Constitutional Court Re-Affirms Clarity of its Same-Sex Marriage Ruling; Rebukes Procurador General
My statement about today’s action by the Colombian Constitutional Court:
An extraordinary development occurred in the face of a developing Constitutional crisis in Colombia today. The President of the Constitutional Court not only refused the request of the Procurador General to nullify the Court’s two year old marriage ruling, but issued this statement boldly rebuking the Procurador for indignant and disrespectful attacks on the Court, and ordering him to comply with the Court’s decisions “timely and strictly.”
I am very encouraged by this remarkable step. After I argued in an address to the full Senate in Colombia that marriage equality is a human right, the Congress failed to act on the Court’s invitation to legislate equality for same sex couples within two years of its decision in June 2011. In the meantime, marriage equality has been spreading in Latin America and the rest of the world.
Yet, opponents in the Senate, and the Procurador, have used religious dogma and false and damaging stereotypes to perpetuate anti-LGBTI discrimination. Recently, the Procurador denounced the Court and threatened judges and notaries if they comply with the decision’s clear mandate that if the Congress failed to act, same sex couples could go to judges and notaries after June 20, 2013 to solemnize their unions on equal terms with opposite couples. Even today, the Procurador warned a convention where the great majority of notaries is meeting against following the decision, directly challenging the authority of the Constitutional Court’s ruling.
Today’s announcement makes it unmistakably clear that the Constitutional Court will not tolerate a disregard for its orders, and this is encouraging in protecting the rights of the LGBTI minority.