• Costa Rica Real Estate

Costa Rica files criminal complaint against same-sex couple who married due to clerical error

November 9, 2015

The director of Costa Rica’s Civil Registry has filed a criminal complaint alleging unlawful marriage against two women who were wed here in July because the registry mistakenly had listed one of them as a man. A complaint also was filed against the couple’s public notary, the registry official announced on Monday.

“We believe that the people [involved in the case] were aware that marriage between people of the same sex warrants a complaint to be filed,” Civil Registry Director Luis Bolaños said. “Articles of [Costa Rica’s] Penal Code could have been violated.”

Laura Florez-Estrada and Jazmín Elizondo were married on July 25 by notary Marco Castillo, who inscribed the act in the Civil Registry.

Florez-Estrada, 28, was born in Peru, has Spanish nationality and has lived in Costa Rica for six years. She is the sister of José María Villalta, a former lawmaker and 2014 presidential candidate for the Broad Front Party. Elizondo, 24, is a Costa Rican, and due to a clerical error has been listed her entire life in the Civil Registry as a man. Castillo heads the pro-LGBT rights group Movimiento Diversidad.

Gay rights Costa Rica José María Villalta
Former presidential candidate José María Villalta was a parade marshal for Costa Rica's Diversity March in 2014. Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times

Due to the registry error, it was the first time in Costa Rica that a same-sex marriage was formally acknowledged by the government. In a separate case, a judge had previously legally acknowledged a same-sex civil union between two men based on a youth law that prohibits discrimination.

According to Bolaños, Costa Rica’s Criminal Code calls for a prison sentence of up to six years for those convicted of unlawful marriage. He said he would ask the Government Attorney’s Office to request a judge to annul the marriage. He added that Elizondo would be notified on Monday that the Civil Registry error that lists her as a man would be corrected.

The couple, however, has vowed to legally fight those actions in order to set a legal precedent for same-sex couples in Costa Rica.

You may be interested

Mike Pompeo advises Costa Rica about economic ties with China
Costa Rica
64 views
Costa Rica
64 views

Mike Pompeo advises Costa Rica about economic ties with China

Alejandro Zúñiga - January 22, 2020

During a press conference following Tuesday's meeting with President Carlos Alvarado, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Costa Rica…

The best resorts in Costa Rica with a wide variety of animals
Sponsored content
6 views
Sponsored content
6 views

The best resorts in Costa Rica with a wide variety of animals

Jessica Vainer - January 22, 2020

Costa Rica — explored by Columbus — literally translates to “The Rich Coast.” Costa Rica is one of the most…

President Alvarado asks U.S. Secretary of State to review Costa Rica travel advisory, FAA certification
Costa Rica
34 views
Costa Rica
34 views

President Alvarado asks U.S. Secretary of State to review Costa Rica travel advisory, FAA certification

Alejandro Zúñiga - January 21, 2020

President Carlos Alvarado asked U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday to review the North American country's travel advisory…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!