Gay Rights In Colombia – A Sad State of Affairs!

gay-rights-in-colombiaIf you you are gay and live in a country like The United States or Canada, then you have it easy.

When my Colombian girlfriend told me how messed up things were in Colombia for lesbians, I couldn’t believe such a great country could have such a backwards view on gay rights.

But upon doing a bit of research I discovered that she was right. ¬†Below are some stories from the web that illustrate the sad state of affairs in Colombia –¬†But also give a bit of hope to all those Colombian women suffering in this backwards, male dominated society…

My journey: 30 years of LGBT and human rights activism in


These include some reflections specific to Lesbian women in Colombia. There is In Colombia, a country with serious human rights problems, there is a clear gap between official rhetoric and the legal framework and reality.

The human rights situation of lesbians, gays, bisexuals – Eldis


This report contends that in order to comply with clear international obligations, Colombia has recognised, with important jurisprudence, that lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgenders (LGBT) are individuals with full human rights and


Colombian court confirms equal rights for same-sex couples

Gay and lesbian couples in Colombia are entitled to the same rights as straight couples in common-law marriages, the country’s Constitutional Court ruled yesterday.

Colombian LGTB Community Recognizes Progress While Calling


colombian-mapColombian LGBT organizations recognized some legal advancement regarding equal rights, but noted that the progress was due to legal demands made by individuals, not a consequence of a public policy or a legislative action.

Colombian organizations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transvestite, transformer, trans and intersex persons (LGBTTTTI) recently disclosed a report submitted to the Colombian government regarding the state of LGBTTTTI rights in

Let’s just hope that things keep progressing in the right direction. I would like to be able to visit Colombian with my girlfriend and not get stared down by some macho Colombian dude.

The Fight to Legalize Same Sex Marriages

legalize-gay-marriageSame sex marriage is an issue that has come to be very heavily debated over the past couple of years. The government is attempting to decide whether or not members of the same sex should be permitted to be legally wed in a civil ceremony. Both sides of the debate are reaching their conclusions by incorporating issues involving ethics and morality.

I feel that same sex marriage should be legalized because of the numerous benefits that it can possibly provide for society as a whole. A ban on marriages denies the gays of a societal right and to deny any persons from this right because of their sexual preference is an extraordinary deprivation.

The societal benefits that could come about with the legalization of same sex marriage is political reform, legitimacy of the gay lifestyle in the public’s eye, socioeconomic benefits for these couples and it can possibly provide safe-guarding for the children of gay and lesbian couples.

I do not feel as Robert Knight when he states in his article “How Domestic Partnerships and Gay Marriages Threaten the Family” that it would undermine the institutions of marriage and family. I feel that it will reinforce the ideas of marriage and family by allowing it to include all members of our society.

If same sex marriage is legalized it will be a step towards reforming the somewhat conservative legislation that has been set forth by the United States government. The laws of this country have altered tremendously over the past few decades. There has been legislation passed that have assisted in the advancement of women and minority groups.

Society should not go back to these dated ideas and laws that “encourage only straight marriages and protect existent marriages by rewards and privileges for this productive behavior and extending sanctions and stigmas to unproductive behavior, such as promiscuous and homosexual sex.” (White 338) It is an atrocious idea that people would want to go back to the days that stigmas and hatred were cast upon those who did not fit into this “normal” mode of conduct.

The courts of today have ruled against miscegenation laws, abortion has been legalized and there are now laws that protect women from sexual harassment. It is unfortunate that in these modern times men who are drawn to other men or women to other women are denied equal protection under the law.

Individuals who believe that same gender marriage is wrong, merely echo the racist majority from decades ago that argued against interracial relationships. The members of these groups felt that race mixing would be detrimental to the “superior” white race. Both arguments are similar in the sense that they are based upon religious mythology and weak rationalizations and should be deemed ethically unjust.

It would be beneficial to the gay community that individuals in committed relationships can infer a sense of legitimacy to the public at large. “In 1967 laws against interracial marriages were diminished and since then these marriages have become more acceptable and commonplace in society.”

(Wilson 9) If same sex marriages were legalized then it would be very likely that the gay lifestyle will slowly be more accepted by the population. Knight points out that in May of 1994, the city of Austin, Texas became the first jurisdiction in the United States to overturn an existing domestic partners law when the citizenry voted 62 percent to 38 percent to undo what the city council had enacted.

Although the majority may feel that gay marriage is wrong, it does not make it necessarily morally right to deny them the ability to wed. Thirty years ago, a public display of affection between two people of the same sex would have drawn unwanted negative attention. Today if you turn on the television a person is inundated with depictions of same sex relationships .and it is becoming less unusual to see displays of affection between people of the same sex. If society is becoming more accepting of same sex relationships, the laws should reflect these feelings.

Another major issue is that gays and lesbians are being denied the socioeconomic benefits that other married couples attain by a legal union. Gay couples should be allowed to file for joint ownership of property, receive their partner’s health benefits and have the power to make medical decisions regarding their partner. “In the late 1990’s laws were passed that denied federal benefits to gay couples such as Social Security survivor benefits and pensions.”

(Woodward 62) Also, if a homosexual with a life partner becomes incapacitated, his biological family, who may never have accepted his lifestyle, can force decisions against his will and even deny visits from his long-term partner. James Wilson’s article entitled “Homosexual Marriage” reports cases of lesbian mothers having their children taken away from them by distant relatives and gay fathers being denied visitation rights to their children. It is obvious that without the protection of a legal marriage, gay partners will be denied benefits that by all accounts are rightfully theirs.

Another important reason that same sex marriage should be legalized is because it has the ability to safe-guard the children of gay or lesbian couples. The manner in which these children are conceived is inconsequential and legalization could also assist in the adoption process. It is well known that adoption agencies are more likely to place a child in a two parent household where there are two incomes providing for the child.

Homosexual couples deserve the right to raise the child in a household where the institution of their parent’s marriage is used to promote the ideas of fidelity and the basic disciplines of family life. Same sex marriages will not as Knight says, “pose a clear danger to a child’s development of healthy sexual identities.” (White 330) In today’s society there is not a “normal” sexual identity and a gay parent can assist just as well as a straight parent in forming their child’s identity.

One of the opposing arguments to gay marriage is the complaint that procreation is not possible between a same sex couple and that having children should be a main reason for a couple to marry. Although it is not anatomically possible for a same sex couple to procreate, it is also not possible for a sterile heterosexual couple to have children. Yet there are no laws prohibiting sterile couples the right to wed. Another obstacle that same sex couples face is that various religious scriptures condemn romantic relationships between members of the same sex.

These arguments are rightly debated within the churches, but there is a separation between church and state. It is well known that a majority of gays have stated that they would be satisfied with only the civil right to marry and would not pursue the right for a wedding within the church. Therefore religious arguments should not be used to reach this decision, since they have no relevance to the civil right to wed.

The definition of marriage must be extended beyond the idea that it is a union between a man and a woman. Over the course of history that definition has changed to fit the times. For centuries, marriage was considered to be a contract in which the wife was considered to be her husband’s legal property.

Later, laws were passed that allowed couples of different races to wed. Presently the definition should extend to include a union either between a man and a man or a woman and a woman. It will in no way threaten the institution of marriage and it will allow gays to receive the benefits that are now only received by heterosexual couples.

To further expand on this idea of the definition of marriage, Webster defined marriage in its Third New International Dictionary as “the state of being united to the person of the opposite sex as husband of wife b: the mutual relation of husband and wife: wedlock c: the institution whereby men and women are joined in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family.”

(White 335) The exclusivity of these definitions to be replaced to include relationships that is not only between couples of the opposite sex. What the argument boils down to is anatomy and that seems to be a silly reason to deny a person the right to marry someone that they love. Times have changed and the government should enact laws that protect all members of society despite their sexual preference.

Gay And Lesbian Centers – A Place Where People Feel Accepted

gay and lesbianMany cities in the United States have a Gay and Lesbian Center, which offer a place for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people to organize and congregate. The centers are often geared towards maintaining or improving the position of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people in society in a myriad of ways.

Gay and Lesbian centers proactively battle against gender identity discrimination, and work to create acceptance in society for gay and lesbian people. They are places from which activities are organized which promote equality, human rights and well-being. They often play a role in representing gay and lesbian people and promoting their image.

The centers are usually a place for people to come to for help with health problems, legal advice, education or career support. Gays and lesbians sometimes face issues in society that have to do with their sexual orientation, and the centers often provide support for these issues. For instance, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center in New York has a broad program for gay or lesbian couples who are looking to start a family.

Gay and lesbian centers usually offer space where social activities are organized. These activities can be discussion groups, drug rehabilitation courses, cultural events or art classes. These programs are often specially geared towards a certain group (gays, lesbians, transgender people or bisexuals). The programs are a good opportunity for many people to engage in social activities and to meet new people with the same sexual orientation.

Many of the centers are committed to the battle against HIV and AIDS. The centers organize prevention programs focused on sexual education and creating awareness of HIV. The centers usually provide support for HIV positive persons through counseling and social support. Usually there is the possibility for persons to test on HIV. The HIV and AIDS programs are for straight as well as gay persons.

To sum up, gay and lesbian Centers are places that guard the rights of Gay and Lesbian people. They are places where people can find support, places which improve the well-being of gays, lesbians and transgender people. Many gays and lesbians still struggle to find their place in society, and the centers offer refuge and support to those who need it. The purpose of gay and lesbian centers is to offer people a place to engage in a community where they can be themselves, and where they can feel accepted regardless of their sexual orientation.