SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — Costa Rica’s new president has raised a gay pride flag next to the country’s flag at the presidential residence as part of an anti-discrimination celebration.
President Luis Guillermo Solis said Friday at the flag ceremony that human rights will be a priority during his administration.
“This is the house of all Costa Ricans. When we say all Costa Ricans we mean all, without exclusion, without violence, without harassment in absolute respect for the rights of each one,” Solís told a crowd of LGBT leaders and advocates during his brief comments on the lawn, reported the Tico Times.
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The flag was hoisted in honor of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), a worldwide celebration of sexual and gender diversities, which is observed annually since 2004 on May 17.
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Marco Castillo, president of the Diversity Movement, a Costa Rican LGBT advocacy organization, said the gesture was a sign of hope of things to come as a bill for civil unions makes its way through the Legislative Assembly and the Costa Rican Social Security System debates extending insurance benefits to same-sex couples.
A group of about 20 people protested outside the presidential residence, saying Solis should have also celebrated “the world’s day for agriculture” and “family day,” holidays that have taken place since he took office last week.