By Gudrun Schultz

  BOGOTÁ, Colombia, February 8, 2007 ( – Homosexual couples in Colombia should have the same property rights as heterosexual couples, the Constitutional Court ruled this week.

  In the latest effort by same-sex activists pushing for legal recognition of homosexuality, the homosexual rights organization, Colombia Diversa, challenged a 1990 law which used the expression “men and women” to designate de-facto couples eligible for property rights, BBC News reported.

  The court ruled the use of the term was unconstitutional, granting property rights-access to same-sex couples who have been living together for at least two years.

  Marcela Sanchez, leader of Colombia Diversa, while saying the ruling was a “great step,” admitted the organization is working towards a cultural shift that would see homosexuality accepted as a social norm, saying, “Laws are not enough.”

  Meanwhile, a proposal to legalize same-sex civil unions in the country is being debated in Congress—a court source said the ruling did not mean the measure had been approved.

  Colombia has been supportive of efforts by international homosexual activist groups to gain observer status at the UN, which is part of an ongoing campaign to make sexual orientation an internationally-recognized human right.

  As well, the Colombian Constitutional Court voted in July 2006 to de-penalize abortions under certain circumstances, including for the life and health of the mother and in cases of rape, incest or fetal abnormality, another example of increasing attempts to liberalize laws on family life issues in the country.

  Dan Zeidler, a leader in Colombia pro-life advocacy, told at the time that the court’s move indicated an agenda to introduce abortion on demand, saying “there is reason to believe their intent is to ‘legalize’ abortion or even recognize it as a ‘right’. Also, the lack of preciseness in terminology in words such as ‘health’ may leave the door open for wide-open abortion.”

  Catholic life and family organizations said the court’s current decision to grant homosexual couples increased rights was “going against the family and matrimony.”

  See related LifeSiteNews coverage:

“Authorized” Abortions Underway After Colombia Court De-penalized Abortion

  UN Group Sues Colombia to Decriminalize Abortion