Saturday, July 6, 2013

 

President Laura Chinchilla signs law advocates believe key to same-sex unions

The law could pave the way for gay unions in Costa Rica but Christian conservative legislators are already planning to counter it.


Thursday morning, President Laura Chinchilla signed a bill into law that could establish common-law marriages for gay and lesbian couples in Costa Rica, reported the newspaper La Nación.

Communications Minister Carlos Roversii confirmed that the law had been signed and sent for publication in La Gaceta, the government magazine that is the final step in the bill’s journey to becoming a law.

The president made good on her promise to sign the bill into law, despite an outcry from conservative lawmakers who petitioned her to veto it.

Conservative Christian lawmaker Justo Orozco of the PRC (Costa Rican Renovation Party) announced that he intends to file a constitutional complaint against the Young Person Law, which deals in part with family matters, reported crhoy.com. Orozco claims the law, which he did not vote for, is “discriminatory” because it creates benefits for a specific group, persons between 18 and 35 years old.

An edit to the law’s Family Code proposed by Deputy José María Villalta of the Broad Front Party says that common-law marriages should be extended to all regardless of gender, “without discrimination against their human dignity.”

Advocates argue that the statement extends to same-sex couples because the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is contrary to human dignity, according to crhoy.com.

Orozco added that Article 242 of the Family Code, which establishes common-law and ceremonial marriages as between a man and a woman, should be respected.

Common-law marriage in Costa Rica is available to people who have been together for at least three years. It guarantees partners the rights to inheritance, to social security and public insurance benefits and to visit the other person in the hospital.

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