ColombiaOne.comHistory43 Years Since the Decriminalization of Homosexuality in Colombia

43 Years Since the Decriminalization of Homosexuality in Colombia


Decriminalization Homosexuality Colombia
Colombia marks the 43rd year since the decriminalization of homosexuality – Credit: Public Domain

On January 23, 1980, Colombia witnessed a landmark legal shift with the decriminalization of homosexuality, marking an end to over nine decades of criminalization under Colombian law. This change, pivotal in Colombia’s legal history, came about through a revision of the penal code, which had been influenced by Christian morality and specifically targeted homosexual acts among men.

Before this significant legal transformation, homosexual men faced numerous legal and societal hurdles. Police raids and arbitrary arrests were not uncommon in areas frequented by the gay community. Notably, despite these legal prohibitions, there are no recorded instances of individuals being imprisoned for homosexual acts in Colombia, highlighting the law’s practical inefficacy.

The shift in Colombia’s legal stance on homosexuality was not a direct result of social activism but emerged from a broader revision of the penal code. This change in the law did not immediately transform societal attitudes in Colombia. The 1980s, a period that also saw the global AIDS crisis, presented additional complexities for the gay community in Colombia.

The Path to Equality in Colombia

The 1980 legal amendment in Colombia signified the start of a gradual movement towards broader acceptance and equality for the LGBTIQ+ community. Since then, significant legal milestones, including the 1991 Constitution and various rulings by the Constitutional Court, have been instrumental in advancing LGBTIQ+ rights in Colombia, changing societal attitudes and overcoming discrimination.

As Colombia marks the 43rd year since the decriminalization of homosexuality, this date is noted in the context of ongoing legal and societal developments. The evolution of the LGBTIQ+ community’s rights in Colombia is an ongoing narrative, marked by legal reforms and societal shifts. The focus remains on the factual progression of events and legal milestones that continue to shape the landscape of LGBTIQ+ rights in the country.

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