Same-sex couples in Costa Rica will be able to get married starting this Tuesday, May 26, when a judicial provision authorizing these marriages will enter into force, although it will not have the party atmosphere expected by the containment measures for the coronavirus.
A 2018 ruling of the constitutional chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) will take effect this Tuesday, and the community of sexual diversity is preparing to celebrate the first marriages with virtual parties, in compliance with the sanitary measures against the spread of COVID-19.
"Before the pandemic we had a big party planned at the national level," he told the agency. AFP Gia Miranda, executive director of the campaign Yes I accept Costa Rica.
Instead, he explained, There will be a “commemoration” that will begin on Monday night with a live broadcast on state television, broadcast on social networks and other channels, with a historical review of the fight for equal marriage and greetings from international and local personalities. The broadcast will include the first marriage between two women at 00.01 (06.01 GMT) on Tuesday.
With 5 million inhabitants, Costa Rica is a religious country and its constitution establishes that Catholicism is the official religion of the State.
"Same-sex couples have waited for many decades for the recognition of their rights on equal terms," declared the presidential commissioner for the LGBTI population, Luis Salazar.
"They pay the same taxes as any other citizen, they have the same obligations under the law, but sexual orientation became a discriminatory condition to deny them their rights", the lawyer and activist claimed.
His comment pointed to an attempt by conservative deputies to ask the CSJ for an indefinite postponement of the entry into force of the right to equal marriage, arguing that they need time to legislate on it.
The president of the Legislative Assembly, the evangelical pastor Eduardo Cruickshank, supported the request by noting on social networks that he was "committed to defending the family as established and pleased to our Heavenly Father."
Salazar recalled that in 2000 the constitutional chamber urged Congress to legislate on the subject, and since 2010 bills began to be presented, none of which came to be voted: “There is a lack of political will, there has been no interest in protecting the rights of the LGBTI population ”.
The issue gained new prominence in Costa Rica when in January 2018 the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) issued an advisory opinion, at the request of San José, in which it determined that a homosexual couple has the same marital rights as a heterosexual couple .
Based on that resolution, the CSJ declared unconstitutional the norm of the Family Code that prevents same-sex marriage and gave the legislature 18 months to prepare new regulations.
It was foreseen that in the event that Congress did not legislate on the subject, as it happened, The equal marriage will automatically take effect when the term expires on May 26.
Miranda recognized that there is a fight that continues from the entry into force of equal marriage to educate the population: “A legal change does not imply that there is a social change, but it is a huge advance, a wonderful milestone in the history of Costa Rica".
In his opinion, the change implies that "at a legal level we will no longer have second-class citizens", and with this, all families will be protected under the law, regardless of how they are made up. He indicated that there are more than 1,140 single parent families in Costa Rica, according to the 2011 census, and the legal change implies that their children will no longer be unprotected under the law.
"We already have to turn the page, we have to understand that this has nothing to do with religious beliefs, it has to do with basic rights," said Miranda.
With information from AFP
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