The Latin American nation’s highest court ruled that it was unconstitutional and discriminatory to prevent same-sex couples from tying the knot.
President Carlos Alvarado, who has publicly advocated for same-sex marriage throughout his campaign since entering power in April, welcomed the decision.
“We continue to deploy actions that guarantee no person will face discrimination for their sexual orientation or gender identity, and that the state’s protection be given to all families under equal conditions,” he tweeted as the news broke, adding “Our commitment to full equality remains intact”.
He added: “We will continue to boost actions that guarantee no person will face discrimination for their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
According to Magistrate Fernando Castillo, lawmakers now have 18 months to implement changes through a new law or same-sex weddings will automatically become legal.
Costa Rica is a majority Roman Catholic country and a number of lawmakers on the legislative assembly oppose gay marriage.
During this year’s general election, same-sex marriages was a major campaigning point and proved to be a topic of contention.
Marco Castillo, a lawyer and head of the LBGT+ rights group Diversity Movement, told Reuters that he was confident that the “battle is already won”.
“It’s going to end with equal marriage in Costa Rica,” he said.
Enrique Sanchez, an openly gay representative in the Citizen Action Party, wasn’t so hopeful given widespread religious opposition.
“What I see happening is that [the gay marriage ban] will simply be declared unconstitutional in 18 months’ time,” he told the Agence France Presse.
Back in July, Cuba – a country that once executed homosexuals – declared that marriage was a “voluntary and consensual union between two people without distinction of sex”.
While Cuba has yet to legalise same-sex marriages, reforming its constitution signals that it soon could.
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