In Colombia, marriage and de facto marital union for same-sex couples are equally available and notaries are empowered and obliged to provide the service.
In 2011, the Constitutional Court recognized that same-sex couples are family and, in this sense, instructed the legislature to regulate marriage.
However, from the congress there was no regulation in this regard so since 2016, the Constitutional Court recognizes in Colombia civil marriage between same-sex couples.
This means that a same-sex couple can marry before a competent authority, such as a notary or a judge.
Civil marriage grants same-sex couples the same legal rights and duties as heterosexual couples.
This includes the creation of a marital partnership, in which both spouses are considered co-owners of the assets acquired during the marriage, and the same rules of property distribution apply in the event of divorce or dissolution of the marriage.
De facto marital union in Colombia
In Colombia, this figure is regulated by Law 54 of 1990.
However, this one only talks about the union of a man and a woman.
In 2007, the Constitutional Court ruled that this law was also applicable to same-sex couples, so that, since then, the common-law marriage is also applicable to same-sex couples.
Couples formed by two persons of the same sex who live together in a permanent and stable manner may constitute a de facto marital union.
As in the case of heterosexual couples, the de facto marital union between same-sex couples generates rights and duties similar to those of marriage, including the creation of a patrimonial partnership.
Assets acquired during the cohabitation are considered common property of the patrimonial partnership, unless proven otherwise.
Upon termination of the de facto marital union, the liquidation of the patrimonial partnership must be carried out and the assets must be distributed equitably among the cohabitants.
In a nutshell
The possibility of marriage for same-sex couples in Colombia is important because it promotes equality, recognizes and protects diverse families, guarantees property and inheritance rights, and reinforces the commitment to international human rights standards.