Court in Colombia Extends Benefits to Same-Sex Partners

Pension and health benefits for gay couples.

The Constitutional Court in Colombia found on April 17 that same-sex partners should be given the same pension and health benefits as traditional families. In the ruling, which provides the country with an important new legal framework, the court acknowledged that to exclude same-sex partners violates the principles of nondiscrimination, equality and human dignity espoused by international law.

Mr. X, as the plaintiff in the case is known, first requested in 1994 that Colombia transfer him the pension benefits of his deceased partner, but he was rejected on the grounds that Colombian laws do not allow pension transfers between same-sex partners. In 2001, he brought his case to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, which ruled in his favor last year.

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