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Political pact threatens gay rights, in vitro

April 27, 2012

From the print edition

A pact between the ruling National Liberation Party (PLN) and the Access Without Exclusion Party (PASE) could end up – irony alert – excluding certain groups of people from the government’s agenda.

Part of the agreement that would allow for the oddly-named PASE to leave the legislative opposition and seek an alliance with the PLN in the Legislative Assembly requires the government to remove topics like in vitro fertilization and homosexual rights from its legislative agenda.

In vitro fertilization remains illegal in the country despite threats of a penalty from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Costa Rica is the only country in the Americas that outlaws the practice.

Oscar López, president of PASE, confirmed this facet of the discussion to the daily La Nación, saying the topics must be removed from the agenda in order for the two political parties to come to a deal.

Based on the agreement, PLN and PASE believe they have enough votes to take control of the assembly during the annual vote on May 1.

PASE lawmaker Victor Granados could be the future legislative president if the deal is finalized.

Juan Carlos Mendoza, of the opposition Citizen Action Party, remains the current legislative president until his term concludes at the end of the month.

The vice president and secretary would also be PASE members, Rita Chaves and Martín Monestel, respectively, according to those involved in the deal.

López, the party’s founder, said PASE joined with the ruling party because he feels ignored by the opposition alliance, which López accused of ignoring bills proposed by his party. He said most of the proposals aimed to help people with disabilities and seniors.

“PASE has been the perfect wild card for the alliance, but the alliance has not supported any or our projects,” López said.

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