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Columbian court rejects inspector general’s bid to sidestep marriage

Alejandro Ordóñez admonished to follow the court’s ruling

Colombia’s Constitutional Court has shot down a petition by the country’s inspector general to restrict gay marriage, reports Semana

The court ruled in 2011 that the government must pass laws giving equality to gay couples. Because Colombia’s congress has not acted, the ruling gives power directly to judges and notaries to officiate same-sex unions. 

Inspector General Alejandro Ordóñez threatened to discipline any official who followed the ruling, and tried to make the court clarify that equality did not have to mean “marriage”.

On July 19, the court admonished that Ordóñez should “observe the determinations of this Court and monitor their strict and timely compliance,” and that he should “maintain decorum” when addressing the court. 

The court has not yet clarified the effect of the 2011 ruling, but Colombian gay activists see the shut-down of Ordóñez as a hopeful sign.