A supreme court judge in Panama has reportedly ruled against two separate efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in the country. We first reported about gay Panamanian lawyer Iván Chanis Barahona's fight earlier this month.
The highest court in the country heard arguments over the last two months and now, Justice Luis Ramón Fábrega has reportedly delivered a draft ruling against two cases that were combined into one:
- a suit filed by a gay couple who wed in the UK and have been seeking to have their union recognized in Panama.
- a challenge to the wording of the country’s Family Code that excludes same-sex couples from marrying.
Even though Fábrega will basically say no to altering the laws of Panama, he gave guidance as to how to change them by stating that marriage equality should be decided on by the Panama National Assembly and that equality must be constitutionally guaranteed via the law.
“It is incumbent upon the Assembly to pass the necessary laws to comply with the purposes and the exercise of the state’s duties as outlined under the constitution.”
Is this a defeat? Well yes, but it is not a final one. It gives a beacon to those that want change to occur in Panama. Even though one branch of government cannot help, it lays out the way in which members of the National Assembly can change the law and the constitution to support same-sex marriage and equality for all.