Costa Rica’s Supreme Court has ruled that the country’s ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional and discriminatory.
The court ruling gives the Central American country’s lawmakers 18 months to change the current law.
President Carlos Alvarado, who supports same-sex marriage, welcomed the ruling and said he wanted to ensure no Costa Rican person faced discrimination for their sexuality.
“We will continue to support actions guaranteeing no person faces discrimination for their sexual orientation or gender identity, and that the state’s protection be given to all families under equal conditions,” he said in a statement on Twitter.
Same-sex marriage advocates applauded the ruling but some criticised the 18-month delay.
“It’s a judicial aberration for a state entity to recognize that discrimination exists, and at the same time allow that discrimination to continue for 18 months more,” LGBTIQ activist Margarita Salas told the Tico Times.
The decision came months after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that its member countries, including Costa Rica, must grant equal rights to same-sex couples.
In that ruling, the judges wrote governments “must recognise and guarantee all the rights that are derived from a family bond between people of the same sex”.
Governments must “guarantee access to all existing forms of domestic legal systems, including the right to marriage, in order to ensure the protection of all the rights of families formed by same-sex couples without discrimination,” they wrote.
The judges added that it was unacceptable for a separate legal provision to be created just for same-sex marriages.
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