Monday 20 September 2021

18-Month Countdown To Same-Sex Marriage Begins This Month

Legislators have until May 2020 to approve the bill to regulate same-sex marriages

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The 18-month countdown that the Constitutional Court gave legislators to regulate same-sex marriages begins this month, with the delivery on Wednesday of the judgment issued in August and its imminent publication in the Judicial Bulletin.

Photo Carla Orozco Odio

The Press Office of the Poder Judicial (Judiciary) informed that the judgment will be sent as soon as possible to the National Press for publication.

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With the publication, lawmakers have until May 2020 to approve the bill in that regard.

Otherwise, item 6 of article 14 of the Codigo de Familia (Family Code), which expressly prohibits same-sex marriage, will automatically cease to have effect.

With the August decision, the Sala Constitucional or Sala IV magistrates, by a majority (six to one), declared unconstitutional actions filed against the item, and in this way, to comply with the Advisory Opinion of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that ordered the country to recognize same-sex marriage.

Acting President of the Sala IV, Fernando Castillo, explained that the decision to leave the regulation in the hands of the Legislative Assembly was made in favor of “social peace”.

“The judgments of a constitutional court, eventually, can generate serious alterations of the social peace. Then, Article 91 of the Law of the (Constitutional) Jurisdiction establishes that to avoid these serious alterations of the social peace, what happens is that the power is given to the court to measure the effects of the sentence in time and in space,” explained Castillo.

The Advisory Opinion transcended in January and responded to a request made by the government of Luis Guillermo Solís.

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Besides opening the door to equal marriage (matrimonio igualitario in Spanish) it allowed people to change their name in official state registers, according to “self-perceived gender identity”.

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