Bogata, Colombia--Colombian Senator Margarita Londono and Manuel
Antonio Velandia, one of Colombia's foremost gay activists, introduced a bill
to the Senate: "By Which the Rights of Gay Women and Men Are Recognized,"
If voted on and accepted, this bill would:
Add "intolerance for the difference originated by reason of sexual
orientation and identity on the part of the victim" to the list of crimes
considered as 'bias crimes.'
Provide a legal partnership status that is neither marriage nor domestic
partnership but a third 'valid social patrimony' agreement [sociedad
patrimonial vigente, in Spanish], which would allow same sex partners
to have inheritance rights after 2 years of establishing this agreement or if
able to prove a relationship that has lasted more than 2 years.
It also extends the Obligatory Health Plan Coverage to include 'family,'
defined as a same sex partner in a 'valid social patrimony' agreement, all
offspring (sons/daughters) under 18 that are born to one or both of the
partners, all offspring over 18 with permanent disabilities, or all offspring under 25
that are full time students and depend fully on their parents. Coverage is
also extended to the widowed or single parent of each of the partners if the
parent depends on his/her son/daughter for sustenance.
The bill has not been voted on but could become law and a watershed moment in
Colombian gay history.
Colombian Lesbian & Gay Association (COLEGA): Aduque@latinoaids.org