Matthew Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

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Colombian Senate overwhelmingly rejects homosexual ‘marriage’

Matthew Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent
April 25, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com)  - The Senate of Colombia voted down a bill to create homosexual "marriage" yesterday by an overwhelming majority of 51-17, with 32 senators either not present or abstaining.
 
The defeat of the bill means that it will not pass to the lower Chamber of Deputies, and is effectively dead.  However, the country is rapidly approaching a deadline set by the Constitutional Court in a July 2011 ruling requiring homosexual couples to be given benefits similar to those associated with marriage.
 
The defeat followed days of growing protests outside of the Senate building, with demonstrators chanting "I won't shut up, I won't shut up, marriage is between a man and a woman!"
 
"The bill sank because it is not of general interest.  Heterosexual marriage is of public interest because it has to do with procreation and the conservation of the race," said legislator Diario Salazar, who opposed the bill.
 
Senator Roberto Gerlein rejoiced in the vote, and denounced homosexual acts as "disgusting," "excremental," and "scatological."
 
"It's empty sex, incapable of generating life, a form of sex that is practiced as if it were for recreational purposes," he noted. "It's bad for the country, for the Congress, for women and for everyone. This bill isn't good for anyone."
 
With the failure of the bill, the country's notaries are expected on July 20 to comply with the Constitutional Court and begin accepting the registration of something akin to a civil union between homosexuals, called a "solemn contractual bond," rather than "marriage," and will not include the right to adopt children.   
 
"The notaries, on July 20th, are not going to celebrate marriages of the same sex," said the country's superintendent of notarization and registration, Jorge Enrique Velez. "It's juridically impossible because the sentence of the Court is clear when it speaks of the 'solemn contractual bond,' which is similar to matrimony in the rights that it includes, but which is different (from marriage)."
 
Although the nominally conservative administration of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos refused to say whether he supported the bill or not, the proposed legislation was co-sponsored by a member of his own party, Senator Armando Benedetti, joined by Green Party deputy Alfonso Prada.  Following the vote, Armando expressed his resentment of the Catholic religion's influence on legislators, and denounced the Congress as "foolish."
 
"The Congress is so foolish, and sometimes so stupid, that it ends up giving up its right of legislating so that the (Constitutional) Court legislates, because the Court does know constitutional principles," opined Benedetti.  "The Congress seems only to know the principles of the Roman Catholic Church. It's like the facade of a cathedral but in the end it is like a barn."
 
However, Benedetti expressed confidence that he would win his cause in the socially liberal Constitutional Court in the future.
 
"The Congress has been useful for us for training, for sparring, so we can be well-prepared before the Constitutional Court and acheive what is guaranteed to the LGBTI population," said Benedetti, referring to an ever-lengthening list that includes "Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders, and Intersexuals."
 
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