In Costa Rica’s Family Law Code, there is a list of circumstances under which “a marriage is legally impossible.” It includes details about consent, mental status, and citizenship, but there has also been this:

Article 14. A marriage is legally impossible… (6) between persons of the same sex.

Even after a 2018 advisory opinion by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that marriage was a human right and therefore should be applied to all citizens, regardless of sexuality, and a confirming ruling in 2018 by Costa Rica’s Supreme Court of Justice, the stricture remained on the books while the country’s Legislative Assembly chewed on the matter. And same-sex couples were forced to wait.

On Tuesday, May 26th, President Carlos Alvarado made a lengthy speech to announce that Section 6 has now been struck from the Family Code Law’s Article 14, making same-sex marriage legal throughout the country. Costa Rica is the first country in heavily-Catholic Central America to legalize same-sex marriage, and hopefully the first pebble in an avalanche of change.

“The people who will be able to access this right are not strangers. They are sons, daughters, friends, family, colleagues and coworkers,” said Alvarado in his press conference. “They are people who, when they decide to get married, will do so for love, stability and because they have a vision for the future. They have the same motivations that anyone could have.

“They do not seek to disrespect, nor attack any personal belief. They search only for the understanding and dignity that everyone deserves, no matter who they are or who they love.”

“As Costa Ricans, we should not be strangers to ourselves.”

“To the LGBTQ community, whose rights will be recognized, I reiterate my ongoing compromise. Over decades you were offended, humiliated, persecuted, but you never gave up the fight. You persisted with pride and determination. You did so with the three unstoppable forces that should guide the 21st century: Liberty, equality, and democratic institutions.”

Source: Tico Times

Editorial credit: Adrian Coto Rodriguez / Shutterstock.com

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