This post was written by Ernesto Zelayandia, HRC Global Fellow.

Last week in a historic 6-2 vote, the Constitutional Court of Colombia ruled to lift a ban that previously prevented same-sex couples from adopting children. Colombia now joins Argentina and Uruguay on the list of Latin American countries that allow same-sex adoption. While advocates celebrate this victory, we eagerly wait for a decision on marriage equality from the same court. However, both cases are facing backlash, with a number of public officials already speaking out against the ruling and LGBT rights.
 
For example. Alejandro Ordonez, Colombia’s Inspector General has already announced his opposition to marriage equality and has a history of standing against the LGBT community. On the legislative side, several senators, including Senator Daniel Cabrales and former Attorney General Senator Vivian Morales, have asked the public to sign a petition calling for a national referendum that would overturn the court’s decision and change Colombia’s constitution to explicitly ban same-sex adoption.
 
In recent years, Colombia has made great progress on the road towards full LGBT equality.  In 2007, after a series of rulings from the Constitutional Court, unmarried same-sex couples were granted property and inheritance rights, social security and pension benefits equivalent. In 2011, the Constitutional Court ruled that same-sex couples should be considered a family and their rights ought to be recognized. In August 2014, the same court ruled in favor of same-sex adoption, but limited the process to cases where one of the partners was biologically linked to the child. The actions of homophobic politicians are likely to have a profound impact on public attitudes towards LGBT people and may endanger the progress Colombia has made towards LGBT equality.
 
With a ruling on marriage equality expected any day now in Colombia, follow HRC’s blog for updates.


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