Colombia’s Highest Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage In 6-3 Ruling

Colombia’s highest court on Thursday issued a 6-3 ruling giving gay couples marriage rights in the conservative Roman Catholic nation.

President Juan Manuel Santos joined activists in arguing that denying same-sex couples the right to wed is discriminatory.

Last November, Colombia’s progressive court issued a landmark ruling extending adoption rights to same-sex couples.

The Washington Blade adds:

The court in 2011 ruled that same-sex couples could register their relationships within two years if Colombian lawmakers did not pass a bill that would extend to the same benefits heterosexuals receive through marriage. Legislators in the South American country subsequently defeated a same-sex marriage bill. A handful of gay and lesbian couples in Bogotá and other Colombian cities have exchanged vows since the court’s deadline passed in 2013. Inspector General Alejandro Ordóñez Maldonado has challenged the rulings that allowed them to marry.

The world joined Colombians on Twitter in celebrating the news: