Conservative Colombian Senator Roberto Gerlein may have given an unintentional boost to supporters of a gay marriage bill. He’s certainly made himself the center of controversy rather than the bill itself.
“Definitely Gerlein´s comments could help the discussion in the Congress. People are really angry,” said Mauricio Albarracín of Colombia Diversa via email.
Gerlein shut down debate on the measure last week after expressing his revulsion at sex between men, calling it, “dirty, repulsive, it is sex that deserves condemnation and is excremental sex.”
Now some liberal members of Congress are demanding he be investigated for violating the country’s antidiscrimination laws, though even some of his enemies say he should have parliamentary immunity.
Gerlein defended his comments:
Tell me how I’ve discriminated and against who because I don’t agree with gay marriage? I’ve only repudiated behavior repudiated by much more than half of Colombians… I clearly explained that by my criteria the problem of being gay is a genetic problem.
Gerlein’s critics are trying to make it an issue in the reappointment of the Procuradoría General, Alejandro Ordóñez, who oversees disciplinary action for civil servants.
He’s up for reelection this week and is widely expected to win.