A ruling striking down Costa Rica's ban
on same-sex marriage handed down 18 months ago took effect on
The first weddings took place at
midnight as the constitutional court's ruling came into force, making
Costa Rica the first nation in Central America where gay and lesbian
couples can marry.
“Today, Costa Rica officially
recognizes same-sex marriage,” President Carlos Alvarado Quesada
said in a tweet.
“Today we celebrate liberty, equality
and our democratic institutions,” he continued. “May empathy and
love be the compass that guide us forward and allow us to move
forward and build a country that has room for everyone.”
Alexandra Quiros Castillo, 29, and
Daritza Araya Arguedas, 24, were the first to marry, NBC News
The brides wore white dresses and
exchanged vows before a small crowd due to coronavirus concerns. The
ceremony was live-streamed.
In declaring that gay couples have a
constitutional right to marry, the high court gave lawmakers 18
months to change the law. Otherwise its ruling would take effect.
Conservative lawmakers last week
attempted to delay the ruling another 18 months, arguing that other
issues, including the coronavirus pandemic, had kept legislators from
reviewing the decision.
A poll conducted in 2018 by the
University of Costa Rica showed low support (30%) for marriage
equality among Costa Ricans.