• Fernando Quimbayo and José Ticora are the first same-sex couple to marry in Colombia. (El Pais)Source: El Pais
The first same-sex couples have begun marrying in Colombia since the Latin American nation changed its marriage laws.
By
Drew Sheldrick

26 May 2016 - 9:40 AM  UPDATED 26 May 2016 - 9:40 AM

Fernando Quimbayo and José Ticora have become the first same-sex couple to marry in Colombia since the country's highest court paved the way for equal marriage rights in the country.

The pair were married at a city registrar in Cali, reports El Pais. The news service was also on-hand to film the couple's ceremony.

In April, Colombia's Constitutional Court ruled in favour of allowing same-sex couples to marry in the mostly Catholic nation.

The 6-3 decision by magistrates follows a long legal battle on the issue, which saw the court rule in 2011 that same-sex couples are entitled to the same protections as opposite sex couples.

That decision also stipulated that the Colombian Congress needed to pass legislation addressing marriage equality within two years. A same-sex marriage bill was subsequently defeated.

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Colombia is the fourth Latin American country to introduce same-sex marriage, following Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. Several parts of Mexico also allow same-sex couples to marry, and 31 of its states are required to recognise married gay couples.

Earlier this month, Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto announced that he will seek to legalise gay marriage throughout the country.

The Colombian Constitutional Court ruled in 2015 that same-sex couples were able to adopt children.