Colombia gay rights law defeated

Activists to continue fight for equal access to social security and inheritance.

    Gay rights activists gathered outside congress
    to protest against the result [Reuters]
    He also criticised Alvaro Uribe, the president, for not defending the initiative more forcefully.

    "He said he supported the bill during his presidential campaign, but since then he's been silent," Benedetti said.

    Vote

    Slightly different versions of the bill had been approved by the senate and house of representatives and Tuesday's vote on the final version was expected to be routine.

    "This was clearly a trick to sink the bill"


    Marcela Sanchez, head of Colombia Diversa gay rights group

    But a senator from a small party closely linked to an evangelical church called for a floor vote on the bill. Conservative politicians broke ranks with the pro-Uribe faction and it was defeated by 34 votes to 29.

    "This was clearly a trick to sink the bill," Marcela Sanchez, head of Colombia Diversa, a gay rights group, said. "Never has a project reconciled by both chambers been called to a floor vote."

    The bill would have granted same-sex couples living together for more than two years the same social security and estate inheritance guarantees as heterosexuals in common law marriages.

    Although states and cities have passed similar laws allowing gay couples to share assets, no other country in the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic region has done so at a national level.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.