Costa Rica takes a historic step toward equality.
On Tuesday, the Republic of Costa Rica became the first country in Central America to legally recognize gay marriage, and the sixth country in Latin America to do so, following Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, and parts of Mexico.
Back in August 2018, Costa Rica’s Supreme Court declared the country’s same-sex marriage ban to be unconstitutional and gave Congress 18 months to correct it or the ban would be automatically nullified. Because Congress did not act, gay marriage officially became legal early Tuesday.
Moments after the ban was lifted at midnight, several couples tied the knot as part of a campaign called “I Do.” Many of these ceremonies were held privately due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It gives us so much joy,” campaign director Gia Miranda told The Associated Press. “The only thing that could win with this is Costa Rica and in general, love.”
Daritza Araya and Alexandra Quirós — whose ceremony was streamed live on the Internet — had the first legal gay marriage in Costa Rica after their outdoor service was officiated by a notary.
Gay equality activist Marco Castillo — who married his longtime partner Rodrigo in front of a judge on Tuesday morning — said Costa Rica’s legalization of gay marriage is “a step in social equality.”
“The fact that Rodrigo and I are able to come marry each other in a court is progress,” Castillo added. “This drives us to continue other fights for those who have a different sexual orientation.”
President Carlos Alvarado praised the lifted ban, tweeting on Tuesday, “Today we celebrate freedom, equality, and democratic institutions. May empathy and love be the compass that allows us to get ahead and build a country where all the people fit.”
Costa Rica oficialmente reconoce el matrimonio igualitario. Hoy celebramos la libertad, la igualdad y las instituciones democráticas. Que sean la empatía y el amor la brújula que nos permita salir adelante y construir un país donde quepamos todas las personas 🇨🇷🏳️🌈— Carlos Alvarado Quesada (@CarlosAlvQ) May 26, 2020
Alvarado won the presidency in 2018 over Fabricio Alvarado, an evangelical candidate who reportedly opposed same-sex marriage.