Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Costa Rica’s high court rejects gay marriage

Photo: REUTERS/Anthony P. BolanteCatholic News Agency

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (CNA) – The Supreme Court of Costa Rica has declared homosexual marriage to be unconstitutional.

The case arguing for the legalization of gay marriage was brought before the court in 2003 by Costa Rican lawyer Yashin Castrillo Fernandez, who claimed limiting marriage to persons of the opposite sex was discriminatory. The high court rejected his arguments in a 5-2 ruling, according to Notivida news agency.

The justices said that the alleged discrimination does not exist, because “the concept of marriage embraced by the political constitution stems historically from a context where it is understood to be between a man and a woman.”

Chief Justice Luis Fernando Solano suggested that the issue be taken up by the Costa Rican parliament in order to come up with a specific law for “civil unions.” Notivida reported that most of the justices agreed that the court could issue a different ruling in the future if changes to the law were enacted.

While Costa Rican population is more than three quarters Roman Catholic, Solano said that “juridical, and not religious, principles were applied in the ruling.”

Should civil union legislation be raised Costa Rican lawmakers could find opposition from the church. Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, has repeatedly said that legal recognition of civil unions is the first step towards legalizing homosexual marriage.

1 comment:

esteban said...

I'm saddened to learn that the Supreme Court of Costa Rica decided against the argument of equal rights for homosexual men and women. However, on the bright side, even the Catholic News acknowledges the possibility of change in the future.

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