The Constitutional Court of Colombia [official website, in Spanish] on Wednesday ruled [decision, in Spanish] that same-sex couples can legally adopt children. In a 6-2 decision, the court said that allowing same-sex couples to form a family upholds equality and is in the best interest of children and teens. The two dissenting judges said that the court’s emphasis on the rights of the child and adolescents was misplaced, and granting same-sex couples the right to adopt children should be left to the legislature. The decision is likely to be appealed [Reuters report] by opponents in the socially conservative country.
The lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community (LGBT) continues to face legal challenges throughout the world. The UN has become increasingly focused on the rights of LGBT individuals. In June the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reported [JURIST report] that members of the LGBT community continue to face discrimination and human rights abuses. Abuses toward the LGBT population are human rights abuses impacting society as a whole, said 12 UN agencies in a joint statement released [JURIST report] in September. The commission found that while LGBT rights have increased since the UN’s first study, there remains widespread discrimination and violence towards these individuals. Last November the OHCHR criticized a Singapore Supreme Court decision [JURIST reports] upholding a law criminalizing consensual same-sex relations between adult men. Last September the UN released a video calling for an end to LGBT discrimination [JURIST report] in all countries.