Costa Rica’s Supreme Court of Justice released a ruling at midnight Wednesday stating that the prohibition of same-sex marriage is unconstitutional – and that the Legislative Assembly has 18 months to overturn it.
Tlhe current assembly draws 14 of its 57 members evangelical pastors, and the path to comply with the ruling is most likely an exceedingly rocky one.
The decision came seven months after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that its member countries, including Costa Rica, must grant equal rights to same-sex couples.
President Carlos Alvarado, whose support for same-sex marriage and the Inter-American Court’s ruling played a significant role in his election, celebrated the decision, but it drew criticism from those who criticized the 18-month delay.
“The ruling makes no sense. Basically what it does is prolong [the wait] for the fulfillment of our rights,” lawyer Marco Castillo, who wrote one of the suits against the current prohibition of same-sex marriage that the Supreme Court considered, told journalists.
“It’s a judicial aberration for a state entity to recognize that discrimination exists, and at the same time allow that discrimination to continue for 18 months more,” said LGBTQ activist Margarita Salas.
“It think it’s improbable that in 18 months the assembly with resolve this,” said Enrique Sánchez of the Citizen Action Party, who is Costa Rica’s first openly gay legislator.