Nigel Campbell's picture

Costa Rica 'Accidentally' Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage?

Whoops! Did Costa Rica just accidentally legalize marriage equality?

Tito Times reports:

Costa Rica's Legislative Assembly on Monday passed a measure – by accident – that could legalize same-sex civil unions as part of a larger bill, lawmakers noted on Tuesday.

Conservative lawmakers voted for the bill’s passage without recognizing the included language that could be interpreted to change the definition of marriage, according to the daily La Nación. Lawmakers immediately called for President Laura Chinchilla to veto the bill.

José María Villalta, a lawmaker from San José, inserted the language into the bill. Villalta is a member of the leftist Broad Front Party. The language confers social rights and benefits of a civil union, free from discrimination, according to La Nación.

Villalta attached the measure to a reform of the Law of Young People, which covers various social services for young people and laws governing marriage.

“During the discussion in the first debate, we explained that the Law of Young People should be interpreted with this sense of opening to gays and no one objected,” Villalta said, according to La Republica.

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For her part, President Chinchilla says she has no plans to veto the bill.  According to Tito Times: 

After legislators “accidentally” passed a law that includes language that could open a path to same-sex civil unions in the Central American country, President Laura Chinchilla said on Wednesday that she would not veto it, as some lawmakers have urged. 

“No, we’re going to go forward and will sign this law. We understand that the debate is over how some interpret the law and this alone is not sufficient for the executive to veto the law,” Chinchilla told reporters, according to a video posted by AmeliaRueda.com.

The president added that the only members of government equipped to interpret the law are judges and lawmakers.

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It sounds like this battle may make it's way to the courts, but hey, the Costa Rican government passed the legislation. Sorry if conservatives weren't paying attention to what they were voting for.

(We're not sorry.)

 

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