Marriage equality has arrived in Costa Rica.
The Spanish-speaking Central American nation recently became the first in the region to legalize marriage equality—a major feat that marked the culmination of a multi-year legal battle. As NewNowNext previously reported, Costa Rica’s highest court ruled that barring same-sex marriage was unconstitutional back in 2018. Justices gave Costa Rica’s parliament 18 months to adjust the legislation or the law would be automatically nullified.
Upwards of 20 Costa Rican lawmakers attempted to delay that ruling; however, their measure failed, and as Reuters reports, the ban officially dissolved midnight on Tuesday, May 26.
Costa Rica oficialmente reconoce el matrimonio igualitario. Hoy celebramos la libertad, la igualdad y las instituciones democráticas. Que sean la empatía y el amor la brújula que nos permita salir adelante y construir un país donde quepamos todas las personas ️
— Carlos Alvarado Quesada (@CarlosAlvQ) May 26, 2020
Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado issued a tweet celebrating the victory for LGBTQ rights, tweeting in Spanish that “empathy and love should from now on be the guiding principles which will allow us to move forward and build a country where there is room for everyone.”
The country is now the 28th United Nations member state in the world to recognize marriage equality. The decision comes soon after the first legal same-sex wedding in Northern Ireland, which officially okay’ed marriage equality last October. Andorra, a small European nation, is also slated to legalize marriage equality in the coming months.
LGBTQ Costa Ricans wasted no time tying the knot—including Alexandra Quiros and Dunia Araya, a lesbian couple who became the country’s first legally wed wives shortly after midnight. Their wedding was even broadcasted on national television.
Felicidades, Costa Rica! View more photos from the historic ceremony below.