Same-sex marriage becomes legal in Costa Rica—first in Central America

"This change will cause a significant social and cultural transformation of the country."

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Image Credit: Juan Carlos Ulate/Reuters

Costa Rica legalized same-sex marriage on Tuesday making it the first country in Central America to do so. The “landmark” court ruling makes Costa Rica the sixth country in Latin America to legalize it.

In August 2018, Costa Rica’s constitutional court ruled “that a ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional and gave parliament 18 months to legislate or the provision would be automatically nullified,” Aljazeera reported. More than 20 legislators worked to delay the ruling, but came up short, which in turn, lifted the ban.

“This change will cause a significant social and cultural transformation of the country,” President Carlos Alvarado Quesada said in a video posted to Twitter.

Alvarado Quesada, who became president in May 2018, made a campaign promise to legalize same-sex marriage.

Many human rights activists applauded the ruling now that “marriage equality has become a reality in the country,” International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) tweeted.

“We rejoice with you: congratulations to all those who worked so hard to make it happen!,” ILGA said in a tweet.

Costa Rica now joins Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay and parts of Mexico to allow same-sex marriage despite much opposition from religious groups.

“[Gay and lesbian people] will have the rights and the same rights as any other person, couple or family in this country,” Alvarado Quesada said.

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