President signs in decrees which include housing benefits and greater recognition of same-sex couples
Costa Rica has passed a number of measures which grant various legal and welfare rights to the LGBTI community.
The decrees were signed into effect by President Carlos Alvarado on Friday (December 21).
The new measures allows same-sex couples in Costa Rica the right to receive a housing allowance for low-income families, recognizes same-sex transnational partnerships and extends the recognition of gender identity to migrants, Yahoo News reports.
‘We are recognizing that there are some rights enjoyed by the majority of the population, while others don’t enjoy those rights,’ Alvarado said.
‘What these measures are doing is implementing the equality that was missing.’
Costa Rica also passed legislation earlier this year which will allow trans individuals to register under their assigned gender.
Work still to be done
LGBTI rights activists welcomed the move as progress for a group which has suffered from years of discrimination.
However, activists also cautioned that there was more work to do to give the LGBTI community full equality in Costa Rica.
‘There still needs to progress in marriage for all. The only legal measure that guarantees full family protection is marriage equality,’ said Nisa Sanz, who is advocating for equal family rights for same-sex couples.
Costa Rica is considered one of the best countries in Central America for LGBTI rights.
Last month, the country’s Supreme Court gave the government 18 months to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples after ruling that the family code which blocked same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.
The court said that if the government has not come up with suitable legislation within the 18-months, then same-sex marriage would automatically be legalized.
If this goes ahead, it will make Costa Rica as the first country in Central America to enact full marriage equality.
by Calum Stuart
Source – Gay Star News