Costa Rica’s Supreme Court has ruled against the country’s long-standing ban on same-sex marriage, and is giving the government 18 months to decide on the matter.
The decision comes after four influential events: a petition in 2016 by then-President Luis Guillermo Solis who wished to increase LGBT rights, the April induction of Costa Rica’s pro-gay President Carlos Alvarado Quesada, the January judgement in favor of same-sex marriage by the Inter-American Humans Rights Court, and an LGBT-affirming protest staged outside of the Court the day of the decision.
The president agrees with the ruling, wanting to make sure that “no person will face discrimination for their sexual orientation,” but many evangelical lawmakers — who make up 14 of the legislative chamber’s 57 seats — are still against the act, said the BBC.
This development comes only months after Costa Rica’s presidential election quickly became an LGBT debate that was “hell” for its citizens, said former Vice President Ana Helena Chacón Echeverría.
“...the country split in half. This was the issue. We weren’t talking about taxes or infrastructure or poverty, they were talking about gay rights, yes or no?” she said, reported Pink News.
If the legislature can’t come to a decision by the end of the 18 months, the ban will automatically be nulled.