High Colombian official urges courts to OK same-sex marriage

A reveler holds a gay pride flag during the gay pride parade in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, June 28, 2015. Thousands paraded through the streets of Bogota and called for a law granting social security and matrimonial rights for gay couples.

A reveler holds a gay pride flag during the gay pride parade in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, June 28, 2015. Thousands paraded through the streets of Bogota and called for a law granting social security and matrimonial rights for gay couples. Fernando Vergara, AP

A reveler holds a gay pride flag during the gay pride parade in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, June 28, 2015. Thousands paraded through the streets of Bogota and called for a law granting social security and matrimonial rights for gay couples.Fernando Vergara, AP

A reveler holds a gay pride flag during the gay pride parade in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, June 28, 2015. Thousands paraded through the streets of Bogota and called for a law granting social security and matrimonial rights for gay couples.

BOGOTA, Colombia — A top Cabinet minister on Sunday urged Colombia’s courts to legalize same-sex marriage and support the right of such couples to adopt.

Interior Minister Juan Fernando Cristo noted Friday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that enshrined the right of gays and lesbians to wed in the United States.

“Equality is unstoppable and equality also will come to Colombia,” Cristo said as thousands from Colombia’s LGBT community staged a gay price march in the capital.

Gay couples can enter civil unions in Colombia, enjoying the same rights as married couples, thanks to a series of Constitutional Court rulings.

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It was unclear whether the minister’s appeal to the courts reflected the views of President Juan Manuel Santos’ administration, which has not pushed for any legislation on the matter.

Colombia’s congress, like much of the South American nation’s population, is very conservative and it is unlikely that legislation allowing same-sex marriages would ever be adopted by lawmakers.

While running for re-election last year, Santos said he considered gay marriage “perfectly acceptable” and vowed to defend equality of rights for same sex couples joined by civil unions. But amid attacks by religious groups, Santos later dismissed the idea that he was a champion of same-sex marriage.

On Sunday, the president said in a message posted on Twitter in recognition of gay pride day that “we believe in a Colombia where everyone has the same rights and diversity is respected.”

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