In Central America, Costa Rica has historically been a leader in social progressivism, though this was called into question during what Americas Quarterly described as a “bitter debate over same-sex marriage and the future of the secular state itself,” in the nation’s 2018 general election.
Last week, Human Rights Campaign had a chance to speak with an LGBTQ advocate and lawyer based in Costa Rica, Hernan Duarte, about what’s next for marriage equality in Costa Rica.
In August, the Constitutional Court of Costa Rica issued a ruling that the country’s prohibition on marriage equality was unconstitutional. The ruling was welcomed by President Carlos Alvarado who had won a bitterly contested election in April in which his rival made opposition to marriage equality a major part of his electoral platform. Marriage equality had become an issue due to a January advisory opinion issued to Costa Rica, at the country’s request, by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) which called on marriage equality to be recognized.
President Alvarado convened an extraordinary session of the Legislative Assembly that considered marriage equality and civil unions and ended on August 31 with no outcome. HRC spoke with Herman Duarte, an LGBTQ advocate, lawyer and writer based in Costa Rica about what is next.