SAN JOSE – Costa Rica became the latest country to legalize same-sex marriage early Tuesday when a ruling from its supreme court went into effect ending the country's ban.
Couples held ceremonies — mostly private due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but some that were broadcast — to celebrate their unions before judges and notaries after the ban was lifted at midnight.
Daritza Araya and Alexandra Quirós married just after midnight in an outdoor service performed by a notary wearing a face mask who pronounced them “wife and wife." Theirs was the first legal gay marriage in Costa Rica and it was streamed live on the internet.
Costa Rica is the sixth country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage, following most recently Ecuador, which allowed it last year. It is also permitted in some parts of Mexico.
Gay equality activist Marco Castillo married his longtime partner Tuesday morning before a judge.
“This is a step in social equality. The fact that Rodrigo and I are able to come marry each other in a court is progress,” Castillo said. “This drives us to continue other fights for those who have a different sexual orientation.”
Castillo had fought for same-sex marriage for years in the courts. He was also recently sanctioned as a notary for conducting the marriage of two women, which was later annulled.
President Carlos Alvarado sent a message on state television and social networks, saying, “Today we celebrate freedom, equality and democratic institutions,.