Now Everyone Can Have Their Dream Wedding!

Costa Rica is celebrating a historic first.

Jun 1, 2020

(Gutzemberg / Shutterstock.com)

Costa Rica is celebrating a lot of weddings as the ban against same-sex marriages was lifted on midnight May 26, 2020. Many couples choose to have their ceremonies that night before judges and notaries in small private ceremonies due to social distancing rules and others were live streamed and shared by many.

The first couple to marry, Daritza Araya and Alexandra Quirós were declared, “wife and Wife” by a masked notary in an outdoor ceremony according to the Associated Press and it was broadcast on the internet.

Costa Rica is the first Central American country, and the sixth in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage. This follows an August 2018 ruling by the Constitutional Court which ruled that forbidding such marriages was unconstitutional. This followed an earlier opinion by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that same-sex couples have the same rights as opposite-sex couples to marry.

The Constitutional Court ruling was very significant in a country where the majority of people are Catholics and a large percentage of the legislative assembly was opposed to same-sex marriage. The decision gave the country 18-months to change the previous law or the ban would simply cease to exist.

A group of legislators unsuccessfully tried to get the ruling delayed for an additional 18 months according to CBS News but they were unsuccessful so the ban was nullified. But this issue was really divisive for the country.

In fact, Costa Rica’s president Carlos Alvarado won the April 2018 run-off on a platform that vowed to defend same-sex rights against an evangelical opponent who was strongly opposed.

Alvarado said he celebrated this new change in a tweet: “Today, Costa Rica officially recognizes same-sex marriage.

“Today we celebrate liberty, equality and our democratic institutions. May empathy and love be the compass that guide us forward and allow us to move forward and build a country that has room for everyone.”

Gay activist Marco Castillo, who fought for same-sex marriage for years in the court system, also married his longtime partner on that momentous first day.

“This 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 told AP. “This drives us to continue other fights for those who have a different sexual orientation.”

The legalization of self-sex marriages has been heralded by LGBTQ organizations as a big step in the right direction but even more is needed for people to achieve true equality.

“Costa Rica's LGBTQ community has worked tirelessly for years to make today a reality,” Alphonso David, the president of the Human Rights Campaign said in a statement. “This victory is theirs, and it inspires the entire global LGBTQ community to continue fighting to move equality forward.”

All of these important firsts, Costa Rica’s in Central America and Taiwan’s 2019 legalization, are great reasons to celebrate but there is still much work to be done before sexual equality is a world-wide right. Let’s make June 2020 the Pride Month that helps make that happen.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.