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Costa Rica calls for compliance with international court ruling on gay marriage

January 10, 2018

Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís called Wednesday for full compliance with the ruling of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) that all member states recognize same-sex marriage and ensure that same-sex spouses have the same rights as heterosexual couples.

“Costa Rica and the other countries that have accepted the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court must fully comply with the court’s opinion, respecting each country’s processing time, jurisdictional and administrative spaces,” he told reporters during a tour of the Caribbean.

The court handed down a ruling on Tuesday indicating that same-sex couples have the same rights as heterosexual couples, rejecting the idea that their unions should be subject to a different legal status.

Solís said Costa Rica’s compliance with the ruling of the court, headquartered in San José, will require a “gradual process” of dialogue among the branches of government, civil society and political parties.

The court’s ruling also recognizes the right of transexuals to register themselves using the name and sex with which they identify.

“The court’s opinion ratifies our commitment to guaranteeing people access to the rights they acquire through their personal relations, without any sort of discrimination,” Solís said.

The court’s ruling was presented in response to a consultation filed in 2016 by Costa Rica.

Costa Rica has not always implemented CIDH rulings with alacrity. In 2012, the court ordered Costa Rica to overturn its ban on in vitro fertilization to legalize the practice within one year. However, officials failed to meet this deadline, and in 2015 was called to a hearing by the court to explain its noncompliance.

The procedure was finally legalized through executive decree in 2015.

However, support for implementing the marriage equality ruling appears widespread. The daily La Nación consulted eight presidential candidates Tuesday on this issue, all of whom said they would respect the ruling with two exceptions: Mario Redondo of the Democratic Christian Alliance, and Fabricio Alvarado of the National Restoration Party.

 

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