As the clock struck 12 this morning, two women became the first to have their same-sex wedding in Costa Rica. The law, which was passed in 2018, came into effect at midnight and Daritza Araya and Alexandra Qu Castillo celebrated their wedding live on state television.
The physically distanced wedding took place in San Isidro de Heredia where the couple exchanged vows in front of a marriage officiant and a small number of family and friends with thousands tuning in at home.
Sí Acepto (‘I do’), one of the groups who long advocated for same-sex marriage in Costa Rica, broadcasted the wedding ceremony on social media where the LGBT+ community celebrated together online.
They had initially planned a public party to mark the passing of marriage equality but plans were cancelled following COVID-19 guidelines.
“As the country and the world face the difficult situation of the pandemic, this historic milestone becomes even more relevant,” Sí Acepto campaign director Gia Miranda said.
“[It’s] a message of a better future for thousands of couples and families who will receive the legal recognition they deserve.”
The implementation of same-sex marriage in Costa Rica comes 18 months after the country’s top court, the Constitutional Chamber of Costa Rica, declared the country’s legislation that defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman is unconstitutional.
Costa Rica’s move to introduce marriage equality came in response to a ruling given by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on January 8, 2018.
The organisation urged countries in its jurisdiction to comply with the American Convention on Human Rights, in which LGBT+ couples are entitled to a number of rights, including marriage equality.
Costa Rica has become the eighth country in the Americas in which a same-sex wedding is legally allowed nationwide, joining Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador the United States and Uruguay.
Same-sex marriage is performed in some jurisdictions of Mexico and recognised across by all Mexican states. Other countries expected to follow in Costa Rica’s footsteps following the Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ ruling include Chile, El Salvador and Panama.
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