Colombian Senate rejects same-sex marriage bill

Colombian Senate rejects same-sex marriage billThe Colombian Senate on Wednesday has rejected a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in the country, by a vote of 51-17. The bill was proposed by Senator Armando Benedetti in August 2011. It received only a fraction of the 50 ‘yes’ votes that would have been needed from the nation’s 98 senators in order to pass. The Senate thus derailed the effort seeking to legalize same-sex marriage in the second of four debate sessions. For the bill to continue being debated, the votes of 52 of the country's 102 senators would have been required.

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Both supporters and opponents of the bill demonstrated outside the Senate building as lawmakers voted down the measure after several hours of debate on April 23.

The president of the Bishops’ Conference of Colombia, Cardinal Ruben Salazar, had issued a plea to lawmakers to consider the Church’s arguments on the question and to protect marriage as being a union of one man and one woman. “As the Church we have clearly outlined the meaning of marriage and how equating it to homosexual unions affects the very foundation of society,” he told.

Cardinal Salazar said the Church supports “the family as the permanent union sanctified by the sacrament of Marriage between one man and one woman, which offers the chance for children to grow up in an emotionally secure environment and to acquire all those elements that allow them to slowly mature and integrate themselves fully into life as adults.”

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