Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla has signed a bill which could extend some benefits associated with marriage to gay and lesbian couples.
Daily La Nacion reported on Friday that Chinchilla had signed the bill into law.
The Legislative Assembly approved the measure on Monday. After gay rights groups hailed passage as a victory, conservative lawmakers called on Chinchilla, the nation’s first female president, to veto the legislation.
Jose Maria Villalta, a member of the leftist Broad Front Party, inserted language into the bill, which deals with youth social services and touches on marriage, that he says applies 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 gay people and no one objected,” Villalta is quoted as saying by La Republica.
Other lawmakers said that the bill could not establish civil unions for gay couples because Costa Rican law defines marriage as a heterosexual union.
“The reference that is here is for heterosexual partners,” said Carlos Avendano, a member of the conservative National Restoration Party.
Marco Castillo, president of the gay rights group Movimiento Diversidad, said that four gay and lesbian couples were prepared to ask the courts to affirm their rights based on the law.
by Carlos Santoscoy
Source – On Top Magazine