884 Same-Sex Couples Were Married During the First Year of Equal Marriage in Costa Rica

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    On the verge of celebrating the first anniversary of the historic reform that recognized equal marriage in Costa Rica, a total of 884 same-sex couples have exercised their new right. The report includes both marriages celebrated in the country and those made abroad and subsequently registered. Dozens of the latter were held before the country reformed its law.

    Same-sex unions, according to the Civil Registry, are divided as follows:

    Totals: 884

    Inscription process: 15

    Denied: 0

    Premises: 795

    Abroad: 104

    The Registry was consulted if in this period there were also divorces in homosexual marriages. The institution explained that at the moment there is no separate file for divorces.

    Marriages that took years

    The possibility of legalizing gay marriage has been debated in Costa Rica since the 1990s, but it took decades to materialize. Different projects for both marriage and civil union reached the Legislative Assembly in the 2000s, without having a significant advance.

    In 2010, the TSE endorsed the start of a process to bring the issue to a referendum, something that was finally annulled by Chamber IV. The administration of Luis Guillermo Solís chose to settle the matter in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which at the beginning of 2018 issued a favorable opinion.

    The issue was transcendental in the elections of the same year and Chamber IV arrived again, which voted in favor of the marriage. The difference of criteria divided the magistrates who debated on the term so that it entered to govern.

    Finally, a period of 18 months was established for the Legislative Assembly to regulate the issue and in case of silence, the unions would be equalized. This happened and it was precisely on May 26th, 2020 when equal marriage became valid in the country.

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