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All that is stopping same-sex marriage in Costa Rica is ‘writer’s block’

All that is stopping same-sex marriage in Costa Rica is ‘writer’s block’

Costa Rica's Supreme Court rules marriage equality must be law by 2020

The Supreme Court has ruled Costa Rica must legalize marriage equality by 2020.

But this late deadline has angered LGBTI activists who are tired of their rights being delayed.

Why is marriage equality in Costa Rica taking so long? 

Legislators have admitted some reasons why the delay in same-sex marriage is taking so long.

The interim president of the Constitutional Chamber has admitted some lawmakers have yet to ‘finalize’ the writing of notes.

Fernando Castillo said because the writing of the law is so ‘complex’, it is taking some time to write up the law.

However, it may be to do with the make-up of the chamber.

The legislative chamber has 57 seats. Fourteen of these seats are held by evangelical and extremely homophobic members.

Is the government purposefully delaying the law change? 

Enrique Sanchez, the country’s first openly gay legislator, has accused the chamber of purposefully delaying the law change.

It has now been three months since the Supreme Court ruling. The ruling found the Family Code, which prevents same-sex marriage, was unconstitutional.

The chamber was given until 2020 to legislate on the matter. If there is no legislation, same-sex marriage will automatically come into law.

However, the chamber is able to first publish the legislation. And then, from that date, the government is given 18 months to put it into place.

It is hoped they will be publishing the legislation in the next two weeks.

LGBTI activists: ‘We are waiting a long time’ 

Castillo said citizens do not understand the court handles ‘20,000 cases per year’, which means a greater delay to the law.

‘The issue is the complexity comes not only because of the importance of the ruling, but the impact of the decisions here and in the world.’

Luis Salazar, the president of LGBTI Populations Affairs, said he has waited long enough for marriage equality to become law.

‘If we add the months of refusing to write the legislation, plus 18 months for the law to come into force, we are waiting a long time,’ he said.

‘In that time families will be suffering the onslaughts of discrimination.’

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