Costa Rica Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

Costa Rica recently legalized same-sex marriage. Image by Lindsay Fendt via The Tico Times.

At the end of this month, same-sex couples in Costa Rica will be able to apply for marriage licenses, according to Q Costa Rica.

Costa Rica’s civil registry will begin processing marriage applications from same-sex couples starting May 26th, as Luis Guillermo Chinchilla, senior civil officer of the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones, said that “The Civil Registry has made significant efforts in adjusting all the computer systems in civil registry matters.” This was made possible by two previous rulings. Back in 2016, then-president Luis Guillermo Solis promised to expand LGBT rights across the nation and also asked the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to rule on marriage equality, which ruled in 2018 that all of Costa Rica’s signatory countries must grant equal rights to same-sex couples. The Superior Notarial Council of Costa Rica refused to issue marriage licenses until the Supreme Court lifted the ban on same-sex marriage. The refusal is definitely an obstacle, but the fact that such a promise was made is definitely a good sign. 


In August of 2018, the Supreme Court voted to lift the ban, but with a caveat: legislators had eighteen months to legalize same-sex marriage after the ruling in November of that same year, but if no action was taken then same-sex marriage would automatically become legal. This month marks the end of the eighteen-month period, and, transitively, the beginning of same-sex marriage in Costa Rica. So far, fifty-four registration requests for same-sex marriage are pending and I assume that many more will be filed. 

Congratulations to Costa Rica for showing the world that they’re on the side of equality and special congratulations to any upcoming same-sex couples set to be wed soon. This is a small but significant light during such dark times, and we must all remember that progress is being made. 

Source: Q Costa Rica

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