The polyamory movement (yes, it exists) scored a significant victory in South America this month with Colombia’s recognition of its first “polyamorous family,” a triad consisting of three gay men: actor Victor Hugo Prada (22), sports instructor John Alejandro Rodriguez (36) and journalist Manuel Jose Bermudez (whose age is believed to be somewhere around 40 or 50).
The throuple originally started as a couple when Bermudez began a relationship with Rodriguez in 1999. The couple began a relationship with a third person, Alex Esneider Zabala, in 2004. That throuple became a quartet when they incorporated Prada in 2012.
The three married men would’ve been a foursome today, had Zabala not died of stomach cancer in 2015.
The three remaining men recently signed legal documents recognizing their marriage with a solicitor in the city of Medellin, a Colombian city in the country’s northwest region (about 220 miles away from the Panama border). The documents establish them as a family unit with inheritance and medical rights as well as other tax benefits.
The throuple says that they plan on holding a marriage ceremony and then will go on a honeymoon.
Interestingly, polygamy is actually legal in 58 regions around the world, mostly in Muslim-majority countries in Africa and Asia. Colombia is the only American country that recognizes polygamy.
In 2000, the United Nations Human Rights Committee actually suggested that non-consensual polygamy should be internationally outlawed, particularly when its involves women forced into a marriage involving one man and multiple wives.
Of the triad’s marriage, lawyer and alternative sexuality campaigner Myles Jackman, said:
“It’s extremely heartening for people who want certain legal protections for individuals who possess certain lifestyles. I hope the legal system will be able to arbitrate and adjudicate swiftly and move onto issues of polyamorous relationships and legal protection issues.”
When asked if he considered his marriage strange, Bermudez said, “The strange thing is to say that one can only love one person.”
Though Colombia legalized same-sex marriage in April 2016, its unclear when exactly they legalized polygamy.
In 2015, three Thai men became “the world’s first gay married throuple” but their union was not legally recognized by Thailand.