(QCOSTARICA) Same-sex couples in Costa Rica will be able to marry as of May 26, when a judicial provision that authorizes these marriages will enter into force, although it will not have the party climate expected by the containment measures of the new coronavirus.
That day there will be a “commemoration” that will begin on Monday night with a live broadcast on Trece Costa Rica Television (channel 13), broadcast on social networks and other channels, with a historical review of the fight for equal marriage and greetings from international and local personalities, according to the executive director of the Sí Acepto Costa Rica, (Yes I accept Costa Rica) campaign, explained Gia Miranda.
The broadcast will include the first marriage between two women at 12:01 am Tuesday.
“Before the pandemic we had a big party planned nationwide,” said Miranda.
A 2018 ruling by the Constitutional Chamber will take effect on Tuesday, and the sexual diversity community is preparing to celebrate the first marriages with virtual parties, in compliance with sanitary measures against the spread of Covid-19.
“Same-sex couples have waited for many decades for the recognition of their rights on equal terms,” said Luis Salazar, LBGTI Presidential Commissioner for the Population.
“They pay the same taxes as any other citizen, they have the same obligations under the law, but sexual orientation became a discriminatory condition to deny them their rights,” the lawyer and activist claimed.
His comment pointed to an attempt by conservative legislators to ask the Constitutional Court, the same court that gave same-sex marriage the green light 18 months ago to reform the Family Code to allow same-sex marriages and are now seeking an indefinite postponement of the entry into force, arguing that they need time to legislate on it.
The president of the Legislative Assembly, Eduardo Cruickshank, supported the request, noting on social networks that he was “committed to defending the family as established and pleases our Heavenly Father.”
Salazar recalled that in 2000 the Constitutional Court (Sala IV as it is commonly referred to) urged the Legislative Assembly to legislate on the subject, and since 2010 bills began to be presented, none of which came to be voted on.
“There is a lack of political will, there has been no interest in safeguarding the rights of the LGBTI population,” said Salazar.
The issue gained new prominence in Costa Rica when in January 2018 the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) issued an advisory opinion, at the request of the country, in which it determined that a homosexual couple has the same marital rights as a heterosexual couple.
Based on that resolution, Sala IV declared the Family Code rule that prevents same-sex marriage unconstitutional and gave the legislature 18 months to draft new regulations and in the event that the Legislature did not legislate on the subject, as it happened, the equal marriage would automatically take effect when the term expires on May 26.
Miranda recognized that there is a fight that continues from the entry into force of equal marriage to educate the population.
“A legal change does not imply that there is a social change, but it is an enormous advance, a wonderful milestone in the history of Costa Rica,” she said.
In her opinion, the change implies that “at a legal level we are no longer going to have second-class citizens,” and with this, all families are going to be protected under the law, regardless of how they are made up.
She indicated that there are more than 1,140 LGBT parenting (homoparental in Spanish) families in Costa Rica, according to the 2011 census, and the legal change implies that their children will no longer be unprotected under the law.
“We have to turn the page, we have to understand that this has nothing to do with religious beliefs, it has to do with basic rights,” Miranda said.
About the broadcast
Trece Costa Rica Television (Channel 13) says the transmission will take place on May 25, from 9 pm to 11 pm, prior to the entry into force of the change in legislation, and will be broadcast on television through its television signal, costaricamedios.cr and Facebook Live. I
n addition, this virtual event will be broadcast on the social networks of the Sí Acepto Costa Rica campaign.
The broadcast has the support of the Canadian and Dutch Embassies and will be carried out in accordance with all the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health on COVID-19 for television broadcasts.