Colombia’s Congress President was hit with fresh controversy after a ‘Christian pact’ he signed in 2010, committing him not to promote the legalization of gay marriage, has been made public.
Senator Roy Barreras is due to head the Congressional debate over the polemical gay marriage bill on April 17, which he himself postponed after proceedings broke down into physical violence last April 5.
The pact, which was signed on January 16, 2010, was an agreement between the Political Committee for the Mission of Peace for the Nations and Barreras, who was on the final push of his campaign for the Senate elections in March of 2010; where he went on to gain over 83 thousand votes.
The document, also signed by reverend Jhon Milton Rodriguez, president of the Association of Christian Ministers in the Valle del Cauca department, along with six other religious leaders, established a series of agreements in which the Senator-to-be essentially aligned himself with the directives of this religious community. In return, the Association promised to allow Barreras to transmit his political message and candidature throughout their congregations in his native Valle de Cauca.
The agreement was also signed by House of Representatives member Jose Luis Arcila.
The aspect of the pact that has proved the most controversial for Barreras is his commitment to “the promotion and development of and respect for the family as God made it, that is to say, neither to promote nor support marriage between persons of the same sex, nor the adoption of children by said couples, nor personal allowances for drugs nor the abortion law.”
Father Rodriguez has this week expressed his “hope” that Barreras will not cast his vote in favor of same sex marriage when the debate finally comes to a head, stating that “his credibility with the future electorate would surely be seriously damaged.”
Concerns have also been raised over whether the agreement could have compromised the Senator in his position as Senate president and the document is currently being analysed by Colombia’s Supreme Court of Justice, who are looking into whether Barreras is guilty of either electoral fraud or voter deception.
Barreras has defended his position, denying that the agreement has affected his political position.
“I don’t find it inconvenient to implicate myself in something I agree with” he said, whilst declaring the claims made against him have placed a “wrongful” and “unnecessary” pressure on Congress before the debate on single sex marriage.
The Citizens’ Network of Regulation (RedVer) on Monday submitted a disciplinary complaint against Senator Barreras to the Prosecutor General, calling for a vote of confidence over the signing of the Christian pact.
Pablo Bustos, the president of RedVer, who also want a fresh investigation into Barreras over past allegations over the Senator’s integrity (Barreras was also investigated by the Supreme Court of Justice in 2011 over alleged influence peddling in the delivery of an evangelical church, seized by the National Drug Directive (DNE), for public use in Cali) declared: “all members of parliament are forbidden to demand bureaucratic quotas that contradict the fulfilling of their legislative function or to condition this function for any favor.”
According to Bustos, Barreras should have declared himself impeded in every debate concerning gay marriage, claiming the signed pact “compromises [Barreras’s] impartiality and objectivity.”
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