Thursday 21 September 2017

Costa Rica 'accidentally' legalises gay marriage

Rob Willliams

THE Costa Rican Legislative Assembly 'accidentally' passed a bill earlier this week that could lead to the legalisation of gay marriage, it has emerged.

Conservative lawmakers voted for the bill to pass but later realised that a change in the language could be interpreted as a loophole that would allow gay marriage.

They have since called on President Laura Chinchilla to veto the bill.

The contentious section was inserted into the bill by José María Villalta and appears to extend the benefits of civil unions to gay couples.

“During the discussion in the first debate, we explained that the Law of Young People should be interpreted with this sense of opening to gays and no one objected,” explained José María Villalta.

As there was no perceived opposition to the amendment, Villalta, a San José member of the leftist Frente Amplio party, inserted it into the bill.

Conservative politicians have since criticised the move and have called on the president to veto the bill. Justo Orozco, a member of the National Renovation Party, told La Nación: “That preference is not a right. It’s a stunted development of sexual identity. It can change like alcoholism, tobacco addiction.”

If approved by the President the bill would be likely to face strong court challenges.

According to local media reports, on Wednesday President Chinchilla told journalists she would not be vetoing bill telling them: “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."

Independent News Service

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