Columbia’s highest court has legalized same-sex marriage

Fernando Vergara, APActivists sing as they wait outside a local court where Carlos Hernando and Gonzalo Ruiz were the first same-sex couple in Colombia to be joined in a civil union, in Bogota, Colombia, on Wednesday.

Fernando Vergara, AP
Activists sing as they wait outside a local court where Carlos Hernando and Gonzalo Ruiz were the first same-sex couple in Colombia to be joined in a civil union, in Bogota, Colombia, on Wednesday.

BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombia’s highest court is paving the way for same-sex couples to marry in the conservative Roman Catholic nation.

Gay couples in Colombia were already allowed to form civil unions. But Thursday’s Constitutional Court ruling by a 6-3 vote would give gay couples marriage rights as well. Activists with the support of President Juan Manuel Santos had argued that denying same-sex couples the right to wed is discriminatory.

Only a handful of nations in Latin America allow gay and lesbian couples to marry, including Argentina.

Colombia’s progressive court had already shown its willingness to expand the rights of same-sex couples when it ruled last year that gay couples can adopt children.

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