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Colombia grants
rights to same-sex couples

Colombia grants
rights to same-sex couples

Colombia's legislative body voted 62-43 to extend health care, social security, and inheritance benefits to same-sex couples, making it the first South American country to give such rights to gay couples. The vote last Thursday was the result of a long lobbying effort by LGBT activists, according to TheWashingtonPost. Canada is the only other nation in the Americas to offer such benefits to same-sex couples on a federal level.

"I think this is an incredible victory that should resonate across both continents, north and south," Human Rights Watch director Scott Long said, according to the Post. "It should definitely be an example to the United States. Colombia is a country that's Catholic, with a conservative government, and they still recognize that this is the right thing to do."

Without the presence of staunch conservative groups--except the heavy presence of the Roman Catholic Church--gay groups encounter less resistance in lobbying for their rights. Groups such as Diverse Colombia eventually won over congress members and President Alvaro Uribe, a conservative Catholic who is expected to sign the legislation. (The Advocate)

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