A Colombian judge has approved what is considered to be the nation’s first same-sex wedding. Carmen Lucía Rodríguez Díaz, a judge with the municipal courts of the capital city Bogota, has given a gay couple Diego and Juan permission to obtain a marriage certificate later this month.
Rodríguez Díaz has also written a five-page ruling where she defends her decision to grant the gay couple a legally recognized union, applying the same civil partnership laws used for heterosexual couples.
She argues that while same-sex marriage laws remain undecided, civil partnership laws that work for straight couples should also be used for gay couples wanting to marry.
Caracol Radio reports the judge invoked Article 5 from the Civil Union Code, which states: ‘Any gaps in the provisions of this code shall be filled by the rules governing similar cases, with the general constitutional principles and procedural law.’
Rodríguez Díaz gave instructions to the couple quoting Article 135 of the Civil Code, which states: ‘marriage shall be officiated when the parties present themselves before the judge chambers, the judge’s secretary and the parties’ two witnesses.’
Since last month, gay couples in Colombia have been left in marriage equality limbo. In 2011, the Constitutional Court ruled that same-sex couples would be allowed to marry starting 21 June 2013 if lawmakers failed to reach a ‘yes or no’ decision.
Gay Star News reported same-sex couples started going to courts and asking for marriage licenses last month.
Colombia Diversa, one of the country’s leading LGBT organizations encourages couples to go to civil courts where judges have to hand them a written statement with an approval to receive a marriage license, or a rejection with explanation the couple can then take to a higher court.