Three gay men married each other and became the first ‘polygamous family’ in Colombia, with the state recognizing the legality of such unconventional marriage.
Actor Victor Hugo Prada and his two partners, sports instructor John Alejandro Rodriguez and journalist Manuel Jose Bermudez, attended the rites of signing legal papers with a solicitor in Medellin City. The marriage establishes the three of them as a family unit, each entitled to inheritance rights.
Actor Prada said: 'We wanted to validate our household and our rights, because we had no solid legal basis establishing us as a family.”
Lawyer and gay rights activist German Rincon Perfetti said there are many three-person unions in Colombia but the case of Prada and his two partners was the first one to be legally recognized. Perfetti said: “It is a recognition that other types of family exist.”
Last year, Colombia also approved the legality of same-sex marriage, making it the fourth South American country to do so, after Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. The courts in Colombia also allowed gay couples to legally adopt children in 2015.
The courts also ordered congress in 2011 to design rules in recording civil unions between same-sex couples so that they would not be discriminated against. Civil unions allow same-sex couples to enjoy many of the same benefits married couples have including inheritance, pensions and health benefits. Wedding rites or ceremonies among same-sex couples are not legally-recognized until 2016.
Activists pushing for same-sex marriage and other rights of gay people enjoyed the support of President Juan Manuel Santos and his government, in spite of the strong opposition from the influential Catholic church, as well as the nation’s independent Inspector General.