The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Costa Rica has approved its first Gay Common Law Marriage and become the first country in Central America to do so.

Gerald Castro, 37, and Cristian Zamora, 45, began their legal battle for recognition in 2013, and were finally granted a common-law marriage by a family court in Goicoechea, Costa Rica, on Tuesday (June 2, 2015). Considered a landmark decision, many see this as a precedent for other courts to follow.

Because Costa Rica’s has a strong conservative right-wing presence and a strong religious influence in the political arena, an appeal and a legal battle is expected.

Common-law marriage requires the approval of a judge only after a couple has been together for a minimum of three years, and grants all the benefits of a traditional marriage such as; social security, inheritance rights, and insurance benefits.

The ruling was based on a 2013 amendment to the Youth Code, which grants the right for a common-law marriage regardless of gender and ‘without discrimination’.

Currently, Costa Rica does not recognize gay marriage; however a civil union’s bill is pending in the Legislative Assembly.

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose, Costa Rica