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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:49 pm 
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First same-sex civil union legalized in Colombia
24 July 2013
By LIBARDO CARDONA

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Activists shout slogans in support of gay marriage 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, Wednesday, July 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- Colombia got its first legalized same-sex union Wednesday when a judge sanctioned the partnership of two men who have been a couple for two decades.

The newly legalized couple cheered the ceremony as a marriage, although experts cautioned that a high court ruling that deemed the union legal did not make it the equivalent of marriage. "We are civilly married," Gonzalo Ruiz, 44, told The Associated Press just after ceremony with his partner, Carlos Hernando Rivera, 57.

The ceremony follows Congress' failure in April to pass a law setting up a legal framework for civil unions. A 2011 order from the Constitutional Court had ordered legislators to pass a law granting marriage equality to gay couples by June 20, 2013, or else such couple would be allowed to join in civil unions before judges. A previous ruling by the high court had allowed same-sex couples in Colombia to enjoy since 2007 many of the benefits of marriage, including inheritance, pensions and health and death benefits.

"They entered as bachelors and exited married," Marcela Sanchez, director of Colombia Diversa, an LGBT-rights group, said after about 100 guests celebrated the union by throwing rice at the couple. However, former Constitutional Court president, Carlos Gaviria, said that while the contract that Judge Carmen Lucia Rodriguez sanctioned between Rivera and Ruiz is a kind of civil matrimony, it cannot legally be called marriage. "It is an unnamed contract that is not matrimony," he said. Sanchez and other activists want same-sex marriage to be enshrined in Colombian law so gay couples can, for one, legally adopt.

The Roman Catholic Church and the office of the Public Attorney, which nominally represents civil society, are among institutions that oppose it.

Evan Wolfson of the U.S.-based group Freedom To Marry said that while Wednesday's ceremony is a step forward, civil unions are not enough. "Legal protections, whether through civil union or partnership, are better than no legal protections - but fall far short of the full measure of security, clarity, and dignity, the tangible and intangible meanings, that come with marriage itself," he said in an email.

In Latin America, gay marriage is legal only in the countries of Argentina and Uruguay and in Mexico City.

Associated Press writer Frank Bajak in Lima, Peru contributed to this report.
Source: AP.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 6:18 am 
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Judges allow first same-sex marriages in Colombia
1 October 2013
By Andrew Potts

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Colombia's Palace of Justice - Photo by Robledo59

Colombia had its first same-sex marriages last week after two civil court judges decided that the passing of a Constitutional Court deadline meant that they could now do so.

Colombia’s Constitutional Court had ordered the Colombian Congress to act to provide same-sex couples with the same-rights and recognition by 20 June this year or same-sex couples would automatically be eligible to apply for civil marriages.

Colombian attorney and LGBT rights advocate Germán Humerto Rincón Perfetti announced the marriage of Julio Albeiro Cantor Borbón and William Alberto Castro Franco last Wednesday, and Colombia’s The Spectator newspaper announced the marriage of Elizabeth Castillo and Claudia Zea on Sunday. ‘I join you in a legitimate civil matrimony with all the prerogatives and rights that civil law grants you and the same obligations imposed by civil law,’ the judge presiding over the women's case said according to Blabbeando.

On 24 July another civil court judge declared another couple to be legal spouses but stopped short of declaring the couple to be married.

After the Constitutional Court deadline passed the director of the agency that overseas notary offices in Colombia ordered notaries to not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and instead provide them with something called a ‘solemn union.’ However there is no such thing as a ‘solemn union’ in Colombian law and Colombian LGBT activists knew they could they could tackle the issue to the courts.

Colombia’s Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez has said he will fight courts allowing same-sex marriages and has sought to fast track a legal appeal to these first marriages in order to stop further marriages taking place. If Ordoñez fails, Colombia will officially join Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil to become the fourth South American nation to allow same-sex marriage and will join Mexico as the fifth Latin American nation where same-sex marriages are performed.

Source: GayStarNews.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:32 pm 
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In one Colombian town, women say no sex until their demands are met
by Shirin Jaafari
October 22, 2013

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Credit: Radu Sigheti/Reuters

Women in a small Colombian town say they won't be having sex until the road that connects their town with the rest of Colombia is repaired.

Women in the small town of Barbacaos in southwest Colombia have been sleeping on the sofa for the past few days. They say they've stopped having sex with their significant others in protest of what they say is the terrible condition of the road that connects their small, isolated town to the rest of Colombia, says reporter John Otis in Colombia. "Colombians like to say you go to the end of the Earth and take a left — that's where this place is located," he said.

And the women say the conditions of that road is so bad that it takes them 12 to 14 hours to get to the nearest hospital. Otis says even pregnant women have died in the back of ambulances, trying to get to a hospital to give birth. That's why they've gone on a sex strike, dubbed the "crossed legs movement."

This however, is not the first time that women living in Barbacaos have gone on a sex strike. In 2011 they used the same method, demanding the road be fixed. They were promised a new and improved road, but after two years, there was no improvement. But they haven't given up and once again, they've gone on strike.

Otis says it's not just the residents of Barbacaos who suffer from bad road conditions in Colombia. He says difficult terrain, such as in the Andes mountains, and a guerrilla war that rages on, all make it very difficult to build new roads and maintain old ones. "If you're going to send a container of Colombian goods to China, it will cost you more to bring it to a Colombian port than to get it from that Colombian port all the way across the other side of the world to China," he says.

This time it seems that members of the "crossed legs movement" are actually getting results. Otis says he's seen pictures of bulldozers and heavy machinery on the road, starting repairs.

Source: PRI.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:11 pm 
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A World Cup quandary: sex or abstinence
4 June 2014
By JOSHUA GOODMAN

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In this Dec. 6, 2013, file photo, Mexico's head coach Miguel Herrera listens to a question during a press conference at the national team's training center in Mexico City, after the final draw in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup. Herrera, who said last May 2014, that he expects his players to refrain from any horizontal samba during their stay in Brazil, where the monthlong tournament opens next week. (AP Photo/Christian Palma, File)

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- If you're intending to score in a World Cup match, should you score the night before?

It's a question that prompts coaches to set rules, players to seek understanding from wives and lovers, and fans everywhere to debate fervently, with many adamantly believing that abstaining from sex improves performance on the field.

The age-old argument has been triggered anew by Mexico's coach Miguel Herrera, who told the newspaper Reforma last month that he expects his players to refrain from any horizontal samba during their stay in Brazil, where the monthlong tournament opens next week. The remark sparked a lively debate in the media, prompting Herrera to clarify that he wasn't banning sex outright, just urging his players to behave prudently - along the lines proposed by his Brazilian counterpart, Luis Felipe Scolari, who has cautioned against attempting any bedroom "acrobatics."

Not everyone is so reserved. Colombian star Carlos "El Pibe" Valderrama lived up to his candid nature by declaring that the teams he captained in the 1990s would have advanced further in World Cup play had the players been freed from chastity.

Theories linking sex to athletic performance date to at least the ancient Greeks, who believed safeguarding a man's sperm was important for spurring aggression needed to perform well in the arena. There's little scientific evidence, however, to support abstinence as a performance enhancer.

A 1995 study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness said performance on a treadmill test was unaffected by whether or not the participant had coitus 12 hours before. Experts agree that lovemaking isn't too strenuous for otherwise healthy people. A University of Montreal study in 2013 found men burned about 100 calories on average - or about the equivalent of 20 minutes of yard work.

Indeed, many athletes and experts swear by a little nookie the night before a big game, claiming it can relieve stress and induce restorative sleep.

More than sexual contact itself, what worries coaches is the all-night revelry and boozing indulged in by athletes in the prime of their youth. Scandalous reports about carousing athletes are not uncommon, such as those describing a party with prostitutes involving Spanish players at last year's Confederations Cup soccer tournament in Brazil.

"It comes down to coaches not trusting the little devils," Pamela Peeke, a physician and spokeswoman for the American College of Sports Medicine, told The Associated Press.

Herrera may have clear reasons to try to corral the fun-seeking tendencies of his players.

In September 2010, two Mexican national team players were suspended and several others fined for indiscipline over a postgame party in the northern city of Monterrey. Local news media reported prostitutes were involved. Sports analysts speculated the six-month suspension given Carlos Vela, who is widely considered Mexico's top striker, is the reason he declined to play for the national team at the World Cup this year.

Many European teams, including Germany and Spain, have a strict ban on sex before matches, allowing wives and girlfriends to visit players at their hotel only on off-days.

The fact that sex still comes up for debate reflects widespread sexism in sports and a lack of male maturity, said Peeke, who is a triathlete and worked as a physician adviser to the Washington Wizards NBA basketball team.

While women also produce testosterone, they do so at levels far below that of men, she says. And nobody fusses over the monastic rites, or lack thereof, of female athletes before major female sporting events. "There's a widely held belief that men just can't rein it in," Peeke said.

Associated Press writers Carlos Rodriguez in Mexico City; Nesha Starcevic in Frankfurt, Germany; Aida Cerkez in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina; Paul Logothetis in Madrid and Andrew Dampf in Rome contributed to this report.
Source: AP.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 2:06 pm 
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Colombia court allows lesbian adoption
28 August 2014

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Colombian lesbian couple Ana Elisa Leiderman (2nd R) and Veronica Botero (R) watch as their daughter Raquel, 6, points at a sketch done by their son Ari, 4, both conceived by artificial insemination, at home in Medellin, Colombia, on August 26, 2014 (AFP Photo/Raul Arboleda)

Bogota (AFP) - Colombia's Constitutional Court ruled Thursday that a lesbian woman could adopt her long-time partner's daughter, though the ruling does not apply to gay adoption in all circumstances.

Ana Leiderman appealed to the court to let her partner, Veronica Botero, adopt her biological daughter after the Colombian Family Well-being Institute rejected Botero's adoption application.

With six votes for and three abstentions, the court ruled that Leiderman, who underwent artificial insemination to conceive her daughter and raised her together with Botero, had the right to request an adoption by her partner regardless of sex. "The court considered that the discriminatory criterion the administrative authority had used to deny the adoption procedure... was unacceptable in this case, which involves a consensual adoption in which the biological father or mother consents to an adoption by his or her permanent partner," said chief justice Luis Ernesto Vargas Silva.

The ruling sets a precedent for all similar cases in the South American country, but will not apply to gay couples seeking to adopt if neither person is the child's biological parent. Even couples covered by the ruling will have to meet certain conditions, such as having lived together for at least two years.

Leiderman and Botero first applied for the adoption five years ago. When their application was rejected, they took the matter to court, winning two previous decisions as the attorney general's office appealed the case all the way to the country's highest court for constitutional matters. Before the ruling, Leiderman had told AFP she wanted to be able to share decision-making on her daughter's health care and education with Botero. "It's hard to be a single mom, and they're forcing me to do it," she said in an interview. "We don't need anyone's permission to be a family, but we want to have that piece of paper."

Colombia's Constitutional Court has slowly expanded the list of rights afforded to homosexual couples in recent years. In 2007, it recognized de facto unions for gay couples and granted them joint health insurance coverage. In 2008 it granted them shared pension rights, and in 2009 it ruled they were also entitled to inheritance rights.

Source: AFP.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:28 am 
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Colombia court allows gay couples to register children
12 November 2015

Bogota (AFP) - Colombia's Constitutional Court ruled Thursday that gay couples must be allowed to register newborn children in both parents' names, with birth certificates listing two mothers or two fathers.

In a five-to-two decision, the court gave the national civil registry 30 days to change its forms so that children can be registered to same-sex couples. The case was brought by two gay men who were unable to register their newborn twins. Local media reports said the babies were born in the United States to a surrogate mother. They reportedly received US citizenship and documents but could not be registered in Colombia.

The deeply Catholic South American country has increasingly expanded gay rights in recent years, though the changes have all come through the courts rather than the legislative process. The latest ruling comes after the Constitutional Court decided last week to allow same-sex couples to adopt. It has also begun hearing a case on whether to allow gay marriage. In 2007, the court granted gays the right to civil partnerships, but they are still not allowed to marry.

Source: Yahoo! AFP

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