Lesbian couple weds on live TV as Costa Rica legalises same-sex marriage

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Photo: YouTube

Costa Rica has legalised same-sex marriage, becoming the 29th country in the world to do so.

In 2018, the country’s Supreme Court ruled that banning same-sex couples from marriage was unconstitutional. The court set a time limit of 18 months for lawmakers to pass same-sex marriage legislation.

They failed to do so, so same-sex marriage automatically became law on Tuesday, May 26.

To celebrate, the Sí Acepto (“I do”) campaign were planning a public party but cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Instead, queer couples and activists celebrated the country’s journey to same-sex marriage in a broadcast (pictured) on state television and social media.

It included lesbian couple Daritza Araya Arguedas and Alexandra Quirós Castillo’s wedding. The pair tied the knot just minutes after midnight.

“As the country and the world face the difficult situation of the pandemic, this historic milestone becomes even more relevant,” Sí Acepto campaign director Gia Miranda said.

“[It’s] a message of a better future for thousands of couples and families who will receive the legal recognition they deserve.”

She said according to the 2011 Census, there are more than 1,140 families in Costa Rica headed by same-sex couples.

Costa Rica is a highly religious Catholic country. Two weeks ago, same-sex marriage opponents in the parliament tried to delay the reform for another 18 months. But those attempts failed, and same-sex marriage could begin today.

Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada praises LGBTIQ community

Speaking about the reform, Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada said while only a minor change to legislation, same-sex marriage was a significant step for LGBTIQ people.

“[Same-sex marriage will] allow thousands to marry and receive partner rights such as inheritance, pensions, medical decisions, among others,” he said.

“Those who will now access these rights are sons, daughters, friends, family, colleagues and co-workers. They are people who, when they marry, will do it for love, stability and their own futures.

“They do not seek to disrespect, they only seek a space for recognition and dignity that any human being deserves, no matter who they are or who they love.

“As a Costa Rican family, diverse, plural and respectful, we are not strangers.”

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Quesada also paid tribute to the country’s LGBTIQ community for decades of activism.

“For decades they were offended, humiliated, and persecuted but never got tired of fighting,” he said.

“In the streets, in institutions and in courts, they persisted with pride and determination.

“After those decades of work, this country will give them the rights they always deserved and gives them back some of the freedom they were denied.

“The last few months have been tremendously hard for the country, but we have been reminded that when we work together and put aside our differences, Costa Rica can be an extraordinary country.”

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