Armando Benedetti

Colombia’s Man and Wife Foundation has openly condemned a reelection campaign ad Senator Armando Benedetti Villaneda posted to Youtube last Tuesday linking the issue of gay rights with Colombia’s struggle for peace, the El Espectador newspaper reported Monday.  

Benedetti, a member of President Juan Manuel Santos’ U Party and an outspoken proponent of gay rights, proposed legislation last year aiming to legalize gay marriage.

MORE: Colombia Senate candidate runs campaign ad featuring homosexual couples

The Constitutional Court had given the Colombian Congress until June of 2013 to pass comprehensive marriage equality legislation. After Benedetti’s bill stalled in the Senate, however, a judge in central Colombia administered the first homosexual marriage in the country’s history.

MORE: Colombia witnesses first gay marriage

The conservative Man and Wife Foundation challenged the procedure in court, and succeeded in annulling the marriage before the second decision was, in turn, overruled.

MORE: Colombia judge annuls country’s first gay marriage

Now the foundation, a leading opponent of gay rights in Colombia, has come out strongly against Benedetti’s ad, which shows two same-sex couples briefly kissing.

“It is embarrassing publicity for the 90% of Colombians who are against same-sex child adoption and against gay marriage,” said foundation President Javier Suarez, in an interview with a national newspaper. “Colombians have clearly seen my actions as founder of the Man and Wife Foundation, as it was necessary to enforce respect of the laws of the country through lawsuits, as it is clear in the Constitution and the Colombian Civil Code that marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman, as it should be.”

According to El Espectador, Suarez has requested that the National Electoral Council and the National Television Authority examine the ad to evaluate if the context is appropriate for a political campaign.

Suarez, senate candidate for the conservative party, reportedly claimed that the message of the ad was prejudicial to traditional Colombian households.

“Two men, for as much sex as they engage in, could never become pregnant,” said Suarez. “This is a very clear evidence, Sen. Benedetti, that homosexuals do not, and can never have, equal rights for men and women. Are you promising a campaign, which not even God could accomplish, that a man could give birth to a son, a product of homosexual sex? It’s like asking a coconut tree for potatoes.”

According to El Espectador, Benedetti launched the ad to shine light on the lack of respect that surrounds the gay and lesbian community and claims that peace in Colombia is only possible if there is a mutual respect for all, including homosexuals.


Piden revisar contenido de publicidad de senador Benedetti (El Espectador)

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