Same-sex marriage is now legal in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica now has marriage equality!

According to Q Costa Rica, the country will start processing marriage applications from same-sex couples on 26 May.

Luis Guillermo Chinchilla – senior civil officer of the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones (TSE) – told the publication that all the necessary changes have been prepared, and that there will be no delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Civil Registry has made significant efforts in adjusting all the computer systems in civil registry matters with the purpose of managing these registrations in a timely and expeditious manner,” he explained.

Marriage equality in Costa Rica comes to fruition after two prior judicial rulings.

In 2016, Luis Guillermo Solis – Costa Rica’s president at the time – promised to expand rights for the LGBTQ+ community and later called for the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to implement same-sex marriage.

Two years later, the court ruled that all countries under its jurisdiction needed to legalise same-sex marriage.

The country was then thrown into a General Election, where the legalisation of same-sex marriages became one of the key campaigning points because of the homophobic pastor, Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz.

Nick Karvounis via Unsplash

Thankfully, when the results came in, he was beaten by a comfortable margin.

In August 2018, the Supreme Court in Costa Rica ruled that the ban was unconstitutional, and that the country needed to legalise same-sex marriage within 18 months from the court’s ruling on 26 November 2018.

If action wasn’t taken, then marriage equality would automatically be legalised.

May 26, 2020 officially marks the end of the 18 month time limit.

Q Costa Rica reports that 54 registration requests for same-sex marriages are currently pending.

“As in any marriage registration process, said analysis involves a study regarding its compliance with current regulations, related to freedom of state and legal impediments that spouses may have,” said Chincilla.

“Once this stage has been completed, the corresponding registration will be carried out, a fact that can take between 10 and 15 business days.”

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