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Same-sex couple legally recognized in Colombia

Bogotá judge solemnized relationship; not officially married

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Gay News, Washington Blade, Colombia

Gay News, Washington Blade, Colombia

Carlos Hernando Rivera Ramírez and Gonzalo Ruiz Giraldo in Bogotá, Colombia, on July 25, 2013. (Photo courtesy of Lina Cuéllar/Sentiido)

Two gay men who have been together for 20 years on Wednesday became the first legally recognized same-sex couple in Colombia

Carmen Lucía Rodríguez Díaz, a civil judge in Bogotá, the country’s capital, solemnized Carlos Hernando Rivera Ramírez and Gonzalo Ruiz Giraldo’s relationship. LGBT rights advocates applauded the couple as they left the court.

“We got married; we are very happy,” Rivera told reporters as El Tiempo, a Colombian newspaper, noted. “We have the same rights that a civilly married couple have.”

Colombia’s Constitutional Court in 2011 ruled gays and lesbians could seek legal recognition of their relationships within two years if lawmakers in the South American country failed to extend to them the same benefits heterosexuals receive through marriage.

The Colombian Senate in April overwhelmingly rejected a bill that would have extended marriage rights to same-sex couples.

The Constitutional Court’s June 20 deadline passed amid lingering confusion as to whether gay couples could actually tie the knot in the country because the 2011 ruling did not contain the word “marriage.”

Rodríguez, whom Rivera and Ruiz petitioned on June 20 to recognize their relationship, ruled on July 11 that the couple could legally marry. Former Constitutional Court President Carlos Gaviria Díaz told the Associated Press on Wednesday that Rivera and Ruiz’s union cannot be legally called a marriage, even though Rodríguez officiated a civil ceremony.

The Constitutional Court earlier on Wednesday rejected Colombian Attorney General Alejandro Ordóñez Maldonado’s petition to overturn Rodríguez’s July 11 ruling.

“They (Rivera and Ruiz) are married and have the same benefits and rights that any heterosexual couple united through marriage have,” Lina Cuéllar of Sentiido, an LGBT website she co-publishes in Bogotá, told the Washington Blade. “The issue is that the contract they signed is not called civil marriage, but today we celebrate that for the first time in Colombia a same-sex couple could say ‘we are married.’”

Marcela Sánchez Buitrago, executive director of Colombia Diversa, a nationwide LGBT advocacy group, agreed.

“Carlos and Gonzalo entered the court single and left married,” she told Radio Caracol earlier on Wednesday. “It is a step forward, it is historic in the country. [Rodríguez] is a judge that dared to give the effects and the procedures of marriage to a same-sex couple.”

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Arts & Entertainment

2021 Best of LGBTQ DC Readers’ Choice Award Finalist Voting

Vote for your favorite finalist in our 2021 Best of LGBTQ DC categories through October 3rd.

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It is Decision 2021! You nominated and now we have our Top 5 finalists. Vote for your favorites in our 2021 Best of LGBTQ DC categories through October 3rd. Our 2021 Best of LGBTQ DC will be announced at the Best of LGBTQ DC Awards Party on October 21st and our special issue will come out on Friday, October 22nd.

Thank you to our sponsors: ABSOLUT, PEPCO, Washington Regional Transplant Community.

Vote below or by clicking HERE.

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World

Biden highlights LGBTQ rights in UN General Assembly speech

President noted crackdowns in Chechnya, Cameroon

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President Biden addresses the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 21, 2021. (Screen capture via NBC News)

President Biden on Tuesday in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly spoke in support of LGBTQ rights around the world.

“We all must defend the rights of LGBTQI individuals so they can live and love openly without fear,” he said.

Biden in his speech specifically cited anti-LGBTQ crackdowns in Chechnya and Cameroon. He spoke after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who is a vocal opponent of LGBTQ rights, addressed the General Assembly.

“As we pursue diplomacy across the board, the United States will champion the democratic values that go to the very heart of who we are as a nation and a people: freedom, equality, opportunity and a belief in the universal rights of all people,” said Biden.

The White House earlier this year released a memorandum that committed the U.S. to promoting LGBTQ rights abroad.

The decriminalization of consensual same-sex sexual relations and protecting LGBTQ migrants and asylum seekers are two of the administration’s five priorities in its efforts to promote LGBTQ rights abroad. Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week expressed concern over the fate of LGBTQ Afghans who remain in their country after the Taliban regained control of it, but it remains unclear how many of them the U.S. has been able to evacuate.

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Local

Veteran restauranteurs to open Drift in Rehoboth

Second Block Hospitality eyes 2022 debut for new raw bar

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Double L, Diego's Hideaway, Fourth, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, gay news, Washington Blade
A new raw bar is coming to Baltimore Avenue in Rehoboth. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Despite the generally anti-business positions of the current Rehoboth Beach Mayor and some members of the Rehoboth Beach Commission, there are still some entrepreneurs who have faith in Rehoboth Beach.

One such group is the newly announced Second Block Hospitality Group, which brings together local industry leaders Lion Gardner, Tyler Townsend, Bob Suppies, and David Gonce.

According to the partners, “The mission of Second Block Hospitality is simple…to deliver exceptional hospitality. Second Block projects will be designed to become places that matter; that bring the community together. They aim to create unique spaces that foster positivity, a creative atmosphere, and memorable experiences. Driven by this philosophy we are thoughtful in everything we do, down to the smallest detail. In all our endeavors we are committed to crafting unique guest experiences through innovative design, authentic flavors, and warm hospitality.”

Their first new venture, Drift, will be a raw bar and dining room on Baltimore Avenue. The new project, already underway, is a massive restoration designed to transform the existing building, originally built in 1890 and used as a camp meeting house, into a modern structure with historic charm. Drift restaurant will feature a refined design, open airy spaces and lots of glass for open vantage points with an indoor/outdoor bar area and intimate back patio that will add to the allure of Baltimore Avenue.

“We could not be more excited to be breaking ground on another passion project,” said Suppies. “Coming through the last year brought many new challenges to our industry, but we were able to get very creative and grow as a company, so this new venture is very exciting for us.”

Another of the partners, Gardner, brings his skill set as a longtime chef to the new venture.

“One of my roles in the company will be to oversee the menu and kitchen at Drift and all of our projects moving forward,” Gardner said. “The great thing about our ownership group is that even though each partner has his own area of expertise, there is collaboration across the board; we are all involved in all aspects of the business. I am excited to learn and contribute in other areas as well, and luckily for me I’m working with a group of really talented, experienced and passionate guys.”

Drift is slated to open sometime in early 2022, and things are in full swing for the new restaurant owners, including menu planning. Townsend said, “Drift will be a true raw bar focusing on the art of raw seafood and not just oysters, along with traditionally prepared dishes influenced by the sea. From a beverage standpoint we will feature craft cocktails and eccentric wine and beer offerings. Think small and intimate, rustic and classic, yet casual with a focus on culinary inventiveness and creative spaces.” and good times. For more information visit driftrb.com.

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