With backing from President Alvaro Uribe, a Colombian bill giving same-sex couples rights to health insurance, inheritance, and social security that recently passed by a 62-43 vote in Congress is likely to become law. If ratified by the Senate, Colombia will be the first Latin American country to offer such rights on a national level. Included in the measure is a provision for equal health insurance rights for long-term same-sex couples. In addition, shared possessions would be given to a surviving partner in the case of death, whereas property was formerly divided between blood relatives.
According to the BBC, Marcela Sanchez, director of Colombia Diversa, a gay rights group, said that up to 300,000 same-sex couples in Colombia could benefit from the measure. “It validates our union before the law,” she said.
Elsewhere in Latin America, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, and Brazil’s province of Rio Grande do Sul are also considering gay rights legislation.