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    Demonstrators march for gay rights in San Jose Costa-Rica in June 2012 (Photo: Kent Gilbert Reuters)
    San Jose – Costa Rica’s government sent Congress a bill called Societies of Coexistence, which seeks to legalize civil unions between homosexuals and guarantee rights.

    The draft recognizes the coexistence and equal rights of individuals seeking recognition of civil rights such as social security, inheritance and pension to same-sex couples, but faces strong opposition from the Catholic Church and other religious groups.

    Congress currently is in a super session, in which they are deciding which projects will be discussed.

    At a meeting earlier this week with gay groups and human rights defenders, the Executive announced its support for the bill and its early call for congressional hearings.

    The president of the Diversity Movement, Marco Castillo, a group that brings together gay groups, lesbians and transsexuals, told EFE that the call is a “positive step” but still is no victory.

    “This opens an expectation. We do not think the battle has been won, but it is a positive step forward,” said Castillo.
    The activist and lawyer said that caution is taken with the project’s future in the Legislature because there are no “fundamentalist forces” that have been “resisting” and “obstacles” such projects.

    Last June, the Human Rights Commission rejected a bill in the Costa Rican Congress by a majority (4-2), this bill is different, but almost equal in content, Castillo said.

    “The hope is the bill go to Law,” said Castillo, who believes that with the support of the executive law may be passed before May 2014, the end of the Government of Laura Chinchilla.

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
    San Jose Costa Rica

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