Costa Rica Says Yes To The (Lesbian Wedding) Dress

You there, American reader! Close your eyes and imagine that you could go back in time and stop the voter referendum that led to Proposition 8 from even happening. Are you doing it? Congratulations, you’re in Costa Rica.

Yesterday the top court of Costa Rica blocked a proposed voter referendum that would have let voters decide whether civil unions should be available for same-sex couples. The reasoning behind this ruling? It would put a politically weak minority population at an unfair disadvantage in a largely Roman Catholic country, and also civil unions are “a legislative issue, and not an electoral one.” Bam. That’s it. We’re done here. (@yahoonews)

first gay wedding in Latin America

This is kind of an incredible thing! In contrast to the United States — where some provisions for civil unions/domestic partnerships/gay marriage exist, but we’re reminded CONSTANTLY that we are granted these things grudgingly — Costa Rica (and several other countries! Holler, Iceland!) are saying that really, the religious or “moral” implications of same-sex coupling are pretty beside the point. At the very least, they shouldn’t enter into the legal validation of a relationship. Furthermore, they are sending the message that being in the religious or cultural majority isn’t the same thing as being right, and no one group should be allowed to make rules about how another group lives, even if there are more of them.

Costa Rica, like many Latin American countries, is heavily Roman Catholic and religious. According to Wikipedia, 70.5% of Costa Ricans are Roman Catholic, and only 11.3% identify as having no religion, compared to 23.9% and 16.2% respectively in the U.S. It’s not a case of religion not being an issue; it’s a case of the government deciding that religion isn’t a basis for legislation. Imagine that! Imagine taking as your directive the idea that a religious majority shouldn’t be allowed to regulate the behavior of minority groups, and then making legislative decisons based upon it! I don’t know about you, but I’m a little dizzy.

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Rachel is Autostraddle's Senior Editor and the editor who presides over books and news & politics coverage. Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy."

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16 Comments

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    Hey girls, Im from Panama, right next to Costa Rica, we’re really happy for the news, now we hope that costarrican senators actually approve of gay marriage! It is definitely one more step for latinamerican’s LGTB Community!

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    AAWWWWWWWWWWWW you guys actually did publish this! I can help you with any more info you need. I do study Communications, you know :)! Also, I’m SO EFFING HAPPY! There’s like a bajillion gay parties today to celebrate the Court’s decision. I swear, EVERYONE IS SOOO FREAKING HAPPY! (ok everyone that’s gay or supported us. The Catholic church is PISSED OFF -kinda fun-)

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    Oh and for the record, no, we don’t have civil unions yet. But this is a big step. Now only the legislative power can rule this issue and make a decision. So, no referendum in the near future. Or ever, for that matter.

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    omg! I cant believe we’re making international news!!! Yesterday was one of the happiest days of my life! I actually have a shot at marrying the one I love, this is like a HUGE step 4 Costa Rica cuz we truly are a country ruled by the church and and raise by the bible, so for this to be happening is really unreal!
    Im really REALLY happy.

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      I’m sorry to say that, for the time being, you still can’t marry such a creature, XaiXai… at least not in her natural habitat.

      However, you can do a bunch of other hot stuff with/to her hot self. For example, the Costa Rican state (supposedly) does recognize your right to visit said Tica if she’s in the ho(t)spital.

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      I’m obviously kidding, my lovelies. Actually, my feelings are especially discoverable, and somewhat movable, when things take me by surprise. And, several gay-related (international, national, and ehm…local*) events have taken me by surprise lately, including our court’s decision and this post about it.

      So, I publicly acknowledge my feelings-y appreciation for this post, and what it refers and relates to. Also, I heart youse, gente.

      ¡Otras palabras en español! ¡Lámparas y boñiga!

      *location: my pantaloons!**
      ** I’m being dishonest for hilarity’s sake, yet again.

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