Central American nation becomes first in region to allow gay marriage

ANKARA

Costa Rica became the first Central American country to legalize gay marriage Tuesday despite a strong Catholic presence.

The Supreme Court in August 2018 ruled that a ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional and gave parliament 18 months to amend laws. The provision was automatically annulled after parliament failed to act. 

President Carlos Alvarado Queseda hailed the ruling, saying “today we celebrate freedom, equality and democratic institutions.”

Conservative opposition leader Fabricio Alvarodo, who lost an election bid in 2018, said “God is still God” on Twitter and protested the landmark Supreme Court ruling.

As soon as the decision took effect after midnight, lesbian couple Dunia Araya and Alexandra Quiros married in a town northwest of the capital, San Jose.

“Costa Rica is celebrating today: marriage equality has become a reality in the country — the first one in Central America,” tweeted the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. “We rejoice with you: congratulations to all those who worked so hard to make it happen!”

Others on social media slammed parliament for failing to stop enactment of the law. 

Costa Rica, a tiny Central American country of around 5 million people, became the 32nd country in the world to recognize same-sex marriage or unions.

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