In a huge victory for the LGBTQ population in Costa Rica and worldwide, the supreme court of Costa Rica lifted the ban on same-sex marriage, ruling that it was unconstitutional and discriminatory.
The president of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, welcomed the decision, tweeting, “We continue to deploy actions that guarantee no person will face discrimination for their sexual orientation or gender identity, and that the state’s protection be given to all families under equal conditions.” He added, “Our commitment to full equality remains intact.”
President Alvarado also said that the government of Costa Rica “will continue to boost actions to guarantee no person will face discrimination for their sexual orientation.”
According to the Independent, President Alvarado publicly advocated for same-sex marriage throughout his campaign.
Not everyone in Costa Rica is as supportive of the ruling.
Many Costa Rican Catholic bishops have expressed opposition to the judgment.
A statement issued by the Costa Rican Bishops’ Conference said, “Wanting to not discriminate against homosexual people does not authorize the state to confound the natural order of marriage and the family,” according to La Croix International.
“We reiterate our respect for the Costa Rican legal order, but we deplore that the Constitutional Chamber did not dismiss the petition… thus calling into question the origin and natural function of the family,” the statement added.
According to Reuters, Supreme Court judge Fernando Castillo expressed his support of the decision, telling those in opposition, “we say live and let live. Many oppose for religious reason, but the Bible says love your neighbor.”
Costa Rican lawmakers, many of whom are conservative evangelicals who strongly oppose same-sex marriage, have 18 months to implement a new law following the ruling or the ban will automatically cease to exist.