Tuesday 15 June 2021

Everything Simple Made Difficult, The Costa Rican Way!

There is no stopping the road to equality, but how long will it take to get there?

RICO’s TICO BULL – Costa Rica’s first same-sex marriage that was set for today, Saturday, following the Corte Interamerican de Derechos Humanos (Inter-American Court of Human Rights) said last week endorsed equal marriage in Costa Rica and throughout Latin America, has been put on hold.

No, not by the couple having second thoughts about tying the knot, rather by the country’s bureaucracy.

- Advertisement -

Let me explain.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, based in San Jose, ruled that all of its signatory countries must allow same-sex marriage. The Court recommended that those rights be upheld by way of temporary decrees (executive orders) while the governments amend laws.

To that end, President Luis Guillermo Solis directed government agencies to apply the ruling until the Legislative Assembly adopts new laws.

The Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones (TSE), the government agency that maintains the civil registry, among other agencies, was notified of the order of the executive branch.

- Advertisement -

In consultation with the TSE this past Tuesday, Mario Arias and Roberth Castillo had the Ok to tie the knot. The date was set. Saturday, January 20. Later, after a visit to the Notary Public, in the evening there would be a party for family and friends to celebrate the union.


Civil marriages in Costa Rica requires the paperwork of a Notary Public, a person licensed by the government to perform acts in legal affairs.

While notaries play a limited role in the United States and Canada legal system, their role is key in Costa Rica and many countries of Latin America, from buying real estate, transfer of vehicle ownership, certifications, wills and trusts, among others. And getting married.

In Costa Rica, all Notaries are Attorneys, but not all Attorneys are Notaries. Lawyers can give legal advice if a legal issue arises, a Notary cannot.  Notaries (Notarios in Spanish) are regulated through the Direccion Nacional de Notariado (DNN); Lawyers (Abogados in Spanish) through the Colegio de Abogados y Abogadas de Costa Rica.

On Thursday the DNN made the decision that Notaries WILL NOT be able to register same-sex marriages. The decision was made public Friday morning.

- Advertisement -

The DNN says it would not authorize notaries to register same-sex marriages until the legislature or the courts annul laws outlawing gay marriage. “The rules that regulate marriage in Costa Rica … remain in force,” said the DNN in a statement.

Predominantly Roman Catholic Costa Rica, as several Latin American countries, still do not allow same-sex marriage. Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay and some parts of Mexico allow same-sex couples to marry.

And while the Costa Rica government is permitting the unions by decree, until the laws are changed, it appears the decree does not apply to Notaries, completely contrary to the Inter-American Court and the Presidential directive.

Of course, the laws will change. “There is nothing stopping the road to equality, but the truth is we don’t know how long it will take to get there,” said Larissa Arroyo, the attorney representing Mario and Roberth, on Friday.

All this bring us to what many of us know well about Costa Rica, “everything simple is made difficult”. That is the Costa Rican way of things!

- Advertisement -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

Immigration system failure affected passengers at the San Jose airport Monday

QCOSTARICA -  In yet another system-wide failure in the immigration check-out,...

Rainy afternoons and nights this week in most of the country

QCOSTARICA - Characteristic of the rainy season, we will see rain...


Europe opens the doors to tourism, these are the requirements

Q TRAVEL - Europe opened the doors to tourism. While worldwide vaccination against covid-19 advances above the levels of each country, the restrictions are...

Are you fully vaccinated? You can now enter Spain

Q TRAVEL - Travelers from the European Union or third countries, including Costa Rica, who have fully been vaccinated, will now be able to...

The US sanctions Nicaraguan Daniel Ortega’s daughter and close associates

TODAY NICARAGUA – The United States imposed economic sanctions on four Nicaraguan officials close to President Daniel Ortega on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, including...

New Television Program To Promote Family Fun

Q ENTERTAINMENT - Attention families of Costa Rica! A new contest program, led by Douglas Sánchez and Verónica González, is looking for participants who...

Your cell phone can now notify you if you had contact with a positive case of covid-19

QCOSTARICA - Fifteen months after the national emergency against covid-19 was declared, Costa Ricans will have a digital platform where you can be notified...

Costa Rica passes law to attract foreign pensioners and rentiers with $150K capital

QCOSTARICA - Costa Rica's legislature approved, in the first debate, a bill that reduces the minimum amount that a foreign pensioner or rentier must...

Carlos Alvarado describes calls reprehensible the persecution of Ortega against opponents in Nicaragua

QCOSTARICA - The President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, described the persecution of Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega against opponents as reprehensible after the government...

Vaccine Tourism – A Practical Guide

By Amy Gdala, Guest Contributor - The US has a surplus of vaccines, while Costa Rica is struggling to supply sufficient numbers to citizens...

5.7 Quake jolts Costa Rica

2021-06-10 17:27:0.5, Magnitude: 5.76, Depth 10.0 km, Epicenter: 95.5 km Southwest Malpais de Puntarenas. The jolt was felt also in the Central Valley. No reports...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.