Bishop Juan Vicente Cordoba, secretary for the Colombian bishops' conference, has allegedly been sued by columnist and gay activist Felipe Zuleta over his support of marriage as between one man and one woman.
“For now this is all media hype, and very few media outlets have reported on this,” said Father Elver Rojas, spokesman for the bishops' conference, telling CNA that they have yet to receive any official notice of a lawsuit.
Colombian radio reported on May 29 that Zuleta said he is suing Bishop Cordoba for violating the country’s anti-discrimination laws. He argues the bishop’s statements were criminal in nature and punishable by up to twelve years in prison.
He also said local soccer coach Alvaro Gonzalez has also been sued for supposed 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,” he said.
The lawsuit comes one month after Bishop Cordoba called on Colombia’s Constitutional Court to respect the constitution and the concept of the traditional family which it enshrines.
He also said the court should not grant custody of a woman’s daughter conceived through artificial insemination to her lesbian partner.
In a pastoral letter issued on April 28, Bishop Cordoba said the Church “does not have anything against homosexuals or against the recognition of their authentic and legitimate rights.” As with every human person, they have “the same fundamental dignity, the same value before God and the State.”
However, he noted, “Out of respect for this dignity,” the Church expresses her “active opposition” to issues such as the legalization of abortion, same-sex unions and adoption by same-sex couples.
In his letter, Bishop Cordoba urged Colombians to be “vigilant and attentive, willing to defend life and the authentic nature of the family.”