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Colombia’s President Supports Gay Marriage Amid Election

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Wednesday May 28, 2014
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Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos
Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos  (Source:AP Photo/Carlos Julio Martinez)

Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos announced his support for gay marriage this week in hopes that the revelation will help earn him the support of progressive voters as he faces a runoff election against conservative candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, Gay Star News reports.

Colombian citizens voted last weekend, but there was a poor voter turnout with only 40 percent. The results did not show a clear winner, but Santos and Zuluaga were the two strongest candidates. There will be another election held in June where voters will decide between the two men.

In the wake of the upcoming election, Santos made some groundbreaking statements about marriage rights for same-sex couples during a Google Hangout chat with potential voters.

"Marriage between homosexuals seems to me perfectly acceptable, and what’s more I defend unions between two people of the same-sex with the same rights and all the same privileges that this union should have," he said according to GSN. "Whether this union is called marriage or not for me is secondary - for me, what is important is that they have their rights."

Though his comments are not fully clear, they are in the right direction, especially when compared to his views during the 2010 presidential election where he flat out opposed gay marriage.

GSN notes that two other candidates who ran for president, Enrique Peñalosa of the Greens Alliance and Clara López of the socialist Democratic Alternative Pole party, both supported same-sex marriage. Santos hopes to gain their votes at the June 15 election.

Same-sex couples are allowed to enter into civil unions, or de facto unions, which are legally equal to marriages. Same-sex couples could marry through the courts since October 2013 after lawmakers failed to act on a Constitutional court ruling in 2011 that ordered them to legalize gay marriage by June of last year.

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