Costa Rica will consider recognizing gay and lesbian couples with civil unions.

According to Reuters, the Central American nation will this week announce a plan that seeks civil unions.

“This week we will launch [draft legislation], honoring the commitment our government made in this area and …. we will open a space for consulting with various organizations,” Ana Gabriel Zuniga, deputy minister of the president, is quoted as saying.

The plan is for lawmakers to combine two existing draft bills into one and debate the issue before April 30.

Gay rights proponents applauded the news.

“We are happy that there is a concrete commitment and a date,” Margarita Bolaños with Foro por los Derechos Igualitarios (Forum for Equal Rights) told reporters.

Marco Castillo with Movimiento Diversidad (Diversity Movement) called the news a “step forward.”