Ecuador legalises same-sex marriage

Ecuador has become the 29th country to legalise same-sex marriage after the constitutional court ruled in favour of two same-sex couples citing the belief that all people are equal.

Couple in Ecuador celebrate
Image: RODRIGO BUENDIA/AFP/Getty Images

The South American nation of Ecuador has legalised same-sex marriage. On Wednesday, June 12, Ecuador’s highest court ruled in favour of two same-sex couples who petitioned for the right to marry.

Quinto’s constitutional court voted five-to-four to approve same-sex marriage in the cases of the two couples and in doing so, making same-sex marriage legal across the country.

“It means that Ecuador is more egalitarian. It is more just than yesterday, that it recognizes that human rights must be for all people without discrimination,” said lawyer Christian Paula of the Patka Foundation, which provides legal advice for around 10 same-sex couples seeking to marry in the country.

Efrain Soria and Javier Benalcazar are one of the couples who won the right to marry.

According to AFP, Soria told reporters after the decision: “I want to say hello to Javier, who is in [the city of] Guayaquil. Honey, I love you.”

Soria also urged other LGBT+ people to “enjoy the happiness that comes from being equal, like anyone else.”

Same-sex couples have been able to enter civil unions since 2008 and the current constitution defines marriage as the union between a man and women. It also prohibits same-sex families from adopting.

The Constitutional Court judges who voted in favour of same-sex marriage said they based their decision on the belief that all people are equal.

Ecuador also banned conversion therapy in 2014.

Ecuador becomes the 29th country where same-sex marriages are legally performed and recognised.

A study of nationwide data from across the United States from January 1999 to December 2015 revealed that the establishment of same-sex marriage is associated with a significant reduction in the rate of attempted suicide among children, with the effect being concentrated among children of a minority sexual orientation, resulting in about 134,000 fewer children attempting suicide each year in the United States.

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