Three gay men say they have gained legal recognition as the first ‘polyamorous family’ in Colombia, where same-sex marriages were legalized last year.
Actor Victor Hugo Prada and his two partners, sports instructor John Alejandro Rodriguez and journalist Manuel Jose Bermudez, have signed legal papers with a solicitor in the city of Medellin, establishing them as a family unit with inheritance rights.
‘We wanted to validate our household… and our rights, because we had no solid legal basis establishing us as a family,’ said one of the men, Prada, in a video published by Colombian media on Monday.
- Victor Prada, John Rodriguez and Manuel Bermudez wed in Medellin, Colombia
- The ceremony establishes the three men as a family unit with inheritance rights
- Prada said that the trio wanted to ‘validate’ their household and their ‘rights’
- A ruling by the court in April 2016 legalized same-sex marriage in Colombia
‘This establishes us as a family, a polyamorous family. It is the first time in Colombia that has been done.’
Lawyer and gay rights activist German Rincon Perfetti said there are many three-person unions in Colombia but this was the first one to be legally recognized.
‘It is a recognition that other types of family exist,’ he told AFP.
A ruling by the constitutional court in April 2016 made Colombia the fourth South American country to definitively legalize same-sex marriage, after Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.
From The Guardian:
When the officiant at the ceremony says “you may now kiss the groom”, Victor Hugo Prada will have to choose which of the two men standing with him he’ll kiss first: Manuel or Alejandro.
The ceremony, planned for Colombia in the coming months, will celebrate the first legalised union of three men in the country – and possibly the world.
“We want to make what’s intimate, public,” says Prada, at 23 the youngest of the three. “We have no reason to hide it. We are just helping people realise that there are different types of love and different types of family.”
When a public notary in Medellín signed the paperwork last month formalising the union between Prada, Manuel Bermudez and Alejandro Rodriguez, local newspapers declared it the first three-way gay marriage.
In a legal sense however, theirs is not a marriage, according to Germán Rincon-Perfetti, the lawyer who drew up the document. “By Colombian law a marriage is between two people, so we had to come up with a new word: a special patrimonial union.”
Colombia’s progressive court had already shown its willingness to expand the rights of same-sex couples when it ruled in 2015that gay couples can adopt children.
In 2011, it also ordered congress to design rules to record civil unions between same-sex couples in a way that ensured they weren’t discriminated against.
In civil unions, same-sex couples could have many benefits marriage including inheritance, pensions and health benefits, but the symbolically important right to wed was something that was denied until 2016.
President Juan Manuel Santos’ government supported activists in reaffirming the right to marry, taking on opposition from the powerful Catholic church and the country’s independent Inspector General.