On May 26, equal marriage will be a reality in Costa Rica.

Marriage between people of the same sex in Costa Rica will be legal as of May 26, 2020. It was recognized as a result of a resolution of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Republic on August 8, 2018, through the which resolved two unconstitutionality actions filed against regulations of the Family Code that explicitly prohibited same-sex unions.

For that judgment, the Constitutional Chamber adopted what was stated by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (I / A Court HR) in its Advisory Opinion 24/17, in which it stated that the member states of the Pact of San José should guarantee access for homosexual couples to existing figures, including marriage.1 The Chamber gave a period of 18 months, counted from the publication of the sentence, for the unconstitutionality of the regulations to come into force and urged the Legislative Assembly to modify the laws according to the ruling issued In any case, such resolution will be effective as of May 26, 2020 maximum.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights in its Advisory Opinion, issued at the request of Costa Rica, established: The State must recognize and guarantee all the rights that derive from a family bond between people of the same sex in accordance with the provisions of articles 11.2. and 17.1 of the American Convention. (…) In accordance with Articles 1.1, 2, 11.2, 17, and 24 of the American Convention, it is necessary to guarantee access to all the figures that already exist in domestic legal systems, including the right to marriage. (..) To ensure the protection of all the rights of families made up of same-sex couples, without discrimination with respect to those made up of heterosexual couples.3

The repercussions of the ruling may be regional, since different jurists point out that the ruling is not only mandatory for Costa Rica but could be for all the countries subscribing to the Pact of San José and that they recognize as superior the authority of the Inter-American Court.

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