What great news for Bolivia and specifically for a gay couple living in it.
According to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the country of Bolivia experienced its first same-sex civil union earlier this month. 48-year-old businessman David Aruquipa and 45-year-old lawyer Guido Montaño were given authorization for their civil union by Bolivia’s civil registry. This happened after a two-year legal battle.
The couple was initially denied the right to register their union in 2018. They then brought the case to court. While the Bolivian Constitution still does not recognize same-sex unions, Aruquipa and Montaño argued that the prohibition violated international human rights standards and constituted discrimination under Bolivian law.
The South American country’s Constitutional Court in La Paz then ruled in favor of the gay couple. As the Bay Area Reporter writes, the court cited the Inter-American Court of Human Right’s 2017 mandate to legalize same-sex unions throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
“It is an initial step, but what inspires us is (the goal) of transforming the law,” said Aruquipa after the couple’s success.
Jose Miguel Vivanco, the executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Americas Division, said that same-sex couples are an “integral part of Bolivia’s social fabric” and celebrated the court ruling.
[Same-sex couples] “deserve to be recognized by the state and its institutions,” he said. “All civil registries in Bolivia should stop treating them like second class citizens and start recognizing their unions.”