Costa Rica president vows to legalize same-sex marriage before court deadline

Costa Rica president vows to legalize same-sex marriage before court deadline
President of Costa Rica Carlos Alvarado (Photo: Facebook)

Costa Rica will legislate same-sex marriage before it becomes legally automatically in line with a Supreme Court ruling, the country’s president said.

Alvarado told the Associated Press he would take action before a May 2020 court deadline.

‘We are, as a government, do everything that [same-sex marriage] is respected as a right’ he said.

In August last year, Costa Rica’s Supreme Court found the Family Code, which prevents same-sex marriage, was unconstitutional.

The ruling said that if there was no legislation within 18 months, same-sex marriage will automatically come into law.

Alvarado in December passed legislation to afford LGBTI citizens more rights.

New measures allow same-sex couples in Costa Rica the right to receive a housing allowance for low-income families.

Legislation also recognizes same-sex transnational partnerships and extends the recognition of gender identity to migrants.

Costa Rica also passed legislation last year which will allow trans individuals to register under their assigned gender.

Long wait for equality

LGBTI Costa Ricans have already become agitated at parliament’s failure to act on August’s ruling.

The ruling says that ‘acts of open discrimination, whether they are expressed or implied, cannot be justified in any way in a democratic society that respects fundamental rights’.

Writing the law is ‘complex’. That’s what interim president of the Constitutional Chamber, Fernando Castillo, said earlier this month.

He said also said some lawmakers had not finalized their notes.

What’s more, Enrique Sanchez, the country’s first openly gay legislator, has accused the chamber of purposefully delaying the law change.

The legislative chamber has 57 seats. Evangelical, anti-LGBTI members, however, hold 14 of the seats.

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Author: Rik Glauert