Costa Rica Becomes First Central American Country To Legalise Same-Sex Marriage
Although campaigners had planned to hold celebrations to mark the change in law, the coronavirus pandemic meant that wasn't possible - but a ceremony between couple Alexandra Quiros and Dunia Araya was aired on live TV just after midnight.
Both women were dressed in white while a marriage officiant in a face mask oversaw the proceedings.
Exchanging vows, the women said: "With this ring I join you in marriage. This ring symbolises my infinite love and respect. May this ring remind you that I am always by your side in energy and love."
President Carlos Alvarado Quesada said in a statement shared with the Tico Times: "Our duty is to combat all types of discrimination, whether due to disability, ethnicity, culture, religious creed, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation or any other.
"The modification that comes into effect eliminates five words in one law. However, this change will bring about a significant social and cultural transformation in the country."
He continued: "The people who will be able to access this right are not strangers. They are sons, daughters, friends, family, colleagues and coworkers.
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"They are people who, when they decide to get married, will do so for love, stability and because they have a vision for the future. They have the same motivations that anyone could have.
"They do not seek to disrespect, nor attack any personal belief. They search only for the understanding and dignity that everyone deserves, no matter who they are or who they love."
The Supreme Court ruled in August 2018 that a ban on marriage between same-sex couples was unconstitutional and told parliament it had 18 months to fix the laws. Parliament did not do this, meaning the provision was automatically annulled.
International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) tweeted out in support of the new law writing: "Costa Rica is celebrating today: marriage equality has become a reality in the country - the first one in Central America.
"We rejoice with you: congratulations to all those who worked so hard to make it happen!"
Enrique Sanchez, Costa Rica's first openly gay congressman, told Thomas Reuters Foundation: "With their experience, their struggles... they have helped build a society where there are no second-class families or second-rate people."
Featured Image Credit: EZEQUIEL BECERRA/AFP via Getty Images
Topics: World News