Colombian Bishop Allegedly Sued for Discrimination for Opposing Same-Sex Marriage

A bishop in Colombia has allegedly been sued for discrimination over his opposition to same-sex marriage.

Bishop Juan Vicente Cordoba, secretary for the Colombian bishops' conference, was reportedly sued by Felipe Zuleta, a local columnist and gay rights activist, over allegations of discrimination when citing that marriage is between one man and one woman.

A spokesman for the bishops' conference explained that the reports surrounding this story are being blown out of proportion given the content of the controversy, saying that he has not seen any legal document to support the alleged lawsuit.

"For now this is all media hype, and very few media outlets have reported on this," Father Elver Rojas, spokesman for the bishops' conference, told the Catholic News Agency.

During a local radio broadcast, discussions surrounded a report that on May 29, Zuleta claimed that he had filed a lawsuit against Bishop Cordoba for violating the country's anti-discrimination laws. He explained that comments the bishops made were criminal in nature and that he should endure the legal consequences for his alleged actions.

Zuleta also stated that professional soccer coach Alvaro Gonzalez was also the target of a lawsuit after suspected discrimination against homosexuals.

"We want to see one of these two go to prison so that the country understands that intolerant speech is not acceptable," Zuleta told local media.

The lawsuit was filed a few weeks after Bishop Cordoba made comments directed to Colombia's Constitutional Court urging the court to uphold the country's constitution and to protect the age-old concept of the traditional family.

Bishop Cordoba wrote a Pastoral letter in which he stated the Church "does not have anything against homosexuals or against the recognition of their authentic and legitimate rights." As with all people they have "the same fundamental dignity, the same value before God and the State."

He did explain that, "out of respect for this dignity," the Church expresses "active opposition" to social issues related to abortion, same-sex unions and adoption by homosexual couples.