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Latin America

Costa Rica lawmakers mistakenly vote to legalize same-sex unions

President Laura Chinchilla: 'We’re going to go forward and will sign this law'
Thursday, July 4, 2013

Update, 7/5/13:
Costa Rica’s president Laura Chinchilla has signed the bill into law. Story here.

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Lawmakers in Costa Rica have accidentally voted to amend a law that could legalize same-sex civil unions in the Central American country.

The country’s Legislative Assembly voted Monday to amend the country’s Family Code, striking down the legal definition of a union as only between a man and a woman.

The bill now states that a civil union is recognized “without discrimination contrary to human dignity, social and economic effects of domestic partnerships that constitute publicly, notoriously unique and stable, with legal capacity for marriage for more than three years.”

Several conservative lawmakers, including Evangelical Manrique Oviedo, said they voted for the bill without realizing its legal impact.

The bill requires a ruling by the country’s Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court before being signed into law by president Laura Chinchilla.

If ruled legal and signed, experts say the change in the country’s Family Code would effectively allow same-sex unions.

Conservative lawmakers insisted that the bill should be interpreted as referring to heterosexual couples only and demanded Costa Rica’s president Laura Chinchilla to veto the bill.

Chinchilla rejected their calls stating: “No, we’re going to go forward and will sign this law. We understand that the debate is over how some interpret the law and this alone is not sufficient for the executive to veto the law,” in video posted today by AmeliaRueda.com.

Costa Rica’s Communications Minister Carlos Roverssi confirmed the president’s statement, according to the daily La Nación.

If ruled legal, Costa Rica will become the first Central American nation to recognize same-sex unions.

In Latin America as a whole, five countries have already recognized gay civil unions; Argentina and Uruguay have full marriage equality, while Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador recognize same-sex unions.

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44 more reader comments:

  1. brilliant

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 5:53pm
  2. Whoops. lolz

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 5:53pm
  3. Hehehehehehehe! David Noack! I’m jus’ sayin’!

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 5:54pm
  4. How does one do that

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 5:54pm
  5. “Mistakenly” just come out of the closet, it’s beautiful! :P

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 5:55pm
  6. Mistakenly my tush

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 5:56pm
  7. accidently?

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 5:56pm
  8. Lawmakers = Idiots at work

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 5:56pm
  9. i’m laughing so hard right now.

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 5:57pm
  10. Ooops lmao

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 6:01pm
  11. It was not accidentally :) the opossition did not read the datails of the law. The pro-LGBT just did not mention details and they took advantage that the oposition are bigots that never read.

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 6:01pm
  12. Read the article guys. The conservative legislators didn’t read the bill through. They are now appealing, LOL

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 6:02pm
  13. Mistakenly?!…lol…-)

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 6:05pm
  14. They did not specify “man & woman”, just “consent adults” :P the opposition noticed it late.

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 6:05pm
  15. lol

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 6:06pm
  16. funny

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 6:07pm
  17. LMFAO!!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 6:07pm
  18. Oh darn …. haha ;)

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 6:11pm
  19. Pbbsh loser

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 6:13pm
  20. Well she’s not gonna sign it, because she panders to the religious leaders of her country and is against separating the Catholic Church from the State.

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 6:19pm
  21. too funny!

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 6:20pm
  22. Im guessing overturning won’t be a mistake

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 6:22pm
  23. hope so !

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 6:28pm
  24. HOW FUNNY! HAHA!

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 6:30pm
  25. And people don’t believe in Divine intervention.

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 6:32pm
  26. Interesting

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 6:40pm
  27. Pahahaha. Good going, Costa Rica

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 6:45pm
  28. or that bigots can’t read

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 7:12pm
  29. Qué pena que Costa Rica, como los EE.UU., se ve limitado por los conservadores analfabetos.

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 7:24pm
  30. mmm maybe there are some closeted conservative backing us up , ok now all those closet TV/CD’s help with the trans rights and gender recognition

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 7:29pm
  31. Oops! One person’s mistake is another person’s gain. <3

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 7:55pm
  32. Wonderful mistake!!

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 8:13pm
  33. Accidentally on purpose?

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 9:50pm
  34. I like!

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 10:02pm
  35. Nice…

    Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 11:52pm
  36. oh – that was no accident

    Posted on Friday, July 5, 2013 at 12:08am
  37. lol :)

    Posted on Friday, July 5, 2013 at 2:06am
  38. Good if this whole world were to vote to legalize same sex unions this would be a better world with less strife

    Posted on Friday, July 5, 2013 at 2:56am
  39. Glad she is going to sign the law in, and not veto it. Good for her!

    Posted on Friday, July 5, 2013 at 4:50am
  40. Hey, if they aren’t smart enough to know what they are voting for, then they should have to live with the consequences, <3

    Posted on Friday, July 5, 2013 at 5:00am
  41. Awesome. It is the bigots’ own damn fault for being to incompetent to read a bill before voting for it. Glad the president is going to sign it. I hope the courts hold it up. I love Costa Rica, it is a beautiful country, this would just make me love it more.

    Posted on Friday, July 5, 2013 at 5:58am
  42. Accidentally? That’s like a straight boy saying “I was drunk, I didn’t know what I was doing” the morning after he has the best sex he ever had…with a buddy, for the tenth time in a week. :-)

    Posted on Friday, July 5, 2013 at 6:02am
  43. She has said publicly and on video that she will sign it.

    Posted on Friday, July 5, 2013 at 6:44am
  44. Thanks for this, I read her comments. I think she’s punting the decision on the interpretation to the court system, Win Win! Thanks for letting me know :)

    Posted on Friday, July 5, 2013 at 9:47am