Costa Rica Says Yes To Marriage Equality And Transgender Rights

The IACHR has issued a landmark ruling stating that Costa Rica must guarantee same-sex couples have equal rights and have given transgender individuals rights to name and gender change on official documents.

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On Tuesday, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) issued a landmark ruling that recognises same-sex marriage and transgender rights in Costa-Rica.

The seven judges issuing the ruling stated that the government “must recognize and guarantee all the rights that are derived from a family bond between people of the same sex.”

Six out of the seven judges also ruled that it is necessary for governments “to guarantee access to all existing forms of domestic legal systems, including the right to marriage, in order to ensure the protection of all the rights of families formed by same-sex couples without discrimination.”

This comes after the Costa Rican government asked for an advisory opinion as to if they have an obligation to extend property rights to same-sex couples.

Costa Rican Vice President confirmed the Government’s compliance with this ruling to Costa Rican newspaper, La Nacion, saying “The Executive Branch will focus on studying the resolution in depth,”.

 

Transgender Recognition

The Government also asked for advisory opinion from the courts as to allowing transgender people to change their name and gender marker on identity documents.

The ruling says the Costa Rican government must allow trans people to legally change their name and gender marker on official documents.

Trans rights have also gained traction throughout the region in recent years, even though violence and discrimination based on gender identity remain pervasive in many countries.

Mexico City, Colombia, Argentina and Uruguay are among the jurisdictions in which trans people can legally change their name and gender without undergoing surgery. Cuba since 2008 has provided free sex-reassignment surgeries through its national health care system.

Esteban Paulón, a prominent Argentine LGBT rights advocate who works for the Santa Fé province’s government, on Tuesday said the ruling “elevates the regional standard for the protection of rights for the LGBTI community.” He added it also “sets in motion a path towards greater equality and the guarantee of rights for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans and intersex people that cannot be turned back.”

 

Regional Ruling

Tuesday’s ruling is legally binding in Costa Rica and 19 other countries throughout the Western Hemisphere that currently recognize the convention.

IACHR oversees are Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador and Guatemala.

They also rule over Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Suriname and Uruguay.

The legal director of Presidential House, Marvin Carvajal, said all countries must meet the results of the consultation.

The ‘Goddess of Equality’, Lady Gaga, is being thanked for her part in the ruling…

 

Public Reception

Margarita Salas, a Costa Rican LGBT rights advocate who is a candidate for the country’s National Assembly — described the ruling to the Washington Blade as an “enormous advance in human rights for Costa Rica.”

Esteban Paulón, a prominent Argentine LGBT rights advocate who works for the Santa Fé province’s government, on Tuesday said the ruling “elevates the regional standard for the protection of rights for the LGBTI community.” He added it also “sets in motion a path towards greater equality and the guarantee of rights for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans and intersex people that cannot be turned back.”

Celebrations have taken place across the region with many taking to social media:

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