Gay and lesbian couples announced they plan to appear in family court on Wednesday to apply for legal recognition of their relationships, according to Marco Castillo, president of the Diversity Movement.
The Tico Times confirmed three couples who said they would apply for common-law marriages this week. EFE news agency reported six.
“It’s a dream, a battle,” said Geovanny Delgado, vice president of the Diversity Movement and one of the couples applying for legal recognition on Wednesday.
Fiorella Bruno said that she and her partner, Ana Cristina Binda, were applying to establish same-sex rights to hospital visitation, partner benefits for public health insurance and inheritance rights for their son, Luca Vincenzo Binda.
“We’re doing this for him,” she said in a telephone interview.
According to Costa Rican law, couples must co-habitate for three years to be eligible for a common-law marriage.
All of the couples who spoke with The Tico Times sighted religious prejudice as one of the biggest hurdles facing their legal battle.
“Costa Rica needs to choose between religious fundamentalists and the international agreements it’s signed,” Delgado said, referring to a recent Organization of American States anti-discrimination agreement the country’s foreign minister signed.
“Costa Rica sees itself as a vanguard of human rights but it’s not true,” he added.
Delgado’s comments preceded a recent interview in the daily La Nación with out-going archbishop of San José, Hugo Barrantes, in which the prelate referred to gay men as “unnatural” and accused minority groups of “imposing” themselves on the majority.
Castillo said that he sees common-law marriages as a “step forward” but not a replacement for marriage.
The Front for Equal Rights kicked off a national campaign for marriage equality on June 30 that collected over 2,000 signatures in support.
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