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Costa Rica Court Says No To Gay Marriage Loophole

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Monday Sep 23, 2013

After "accidentally" legalizing gay civil unions in July via a loophole in legislation, the Costa Rican courts system rejected the request of a gay couple who were asking for their relationship to be recognized, effectively shutting down the loophole.

"That law goes against family law and the Costa Rican constitution itself," Conservative Congressman Justo Orozco of the Christian Costa Rican Renovation Party told Fox News.

According to the CostaRican Times, a request to wed from Alberto Gonzalez and Lorenzo Serrano, a same-sex couple in Escazu (in a province in San Jose) who have been living together for seven years, was rejected. The couple said they will continue to fight for civil recognition of their union.

The brief legalization of gay civil unions reportedly came out because deputies said that they did not read the legislation they were signing.

On July 4, the Young Persons Act was passed by 45 deputies, with a loophole that allowed civil unions "without discrimination" based on sexual orientation. But deputies immediately said that it was a mistake, and the Family Court of San Jose closed the loophole.

According to the Associated Press, Costa Rica President Laura Chinchilla signed the bill in July, governing social services and marriage regulations for young people.

The mostly conservative members of Congress didn't notice that the final version of the bill had changed earlier language that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. After realizing they had approved a bill that "confers social rights and benefits of a civil union, free from discrimination," the lawmakers asked Chinchilla to veto the new law.

Chinchilla refused, and conservative lawmakers launched a legal challenge to the new law, which they say goes against family values.

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


  • Wayne M., 2013-09-28 20:43:28

    Religious and social conservatives who do not believe in same-sex marriage are free and should be free to follow their beliefs and so should their churches. However, that should not be construed as giving them the right to deny those who want to marry a person of the same sex from doing so in civil marriage or in churches that support marriage equality.

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