Costa Rica’s Carlos Alvarado Wins Presidency On Pro-Gay Marriage Platform

"My commitment is to a government for everybody."

Carlos Alvarado, 38, has beat conservative opponent Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz, 43, in Costa Rica’s presidential race. Throughout his campaign, Alvarado fought for tolerance and commitment to legalize same-sex marriage. Muñoz, on the other hand, wanted to prevent marriage equality and restrict abortion access for women.

Marriage equality had been a divisive issue in Costa Rica after a January ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights required member countries to allow same-sex marriage. This caused political figures like Muñoz to galvanize religious conservatives and campaign for traditional values. “The whole race was transformed literally overnight,” Kevin Casas-Zamora, a senior fellow at the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, told the Washington Post.

EZEQUIEL BECERRA/AFP/Getty

Upon winning, Alvarado, a former labor minister and fiction writer, said: “My commitment is to a government for everybody, in equality and liberty for a more prosperous future. There is much more that unites us than divides us.”

Alvarado earned 61% of votes and will be Costa Rica’s youngest president when he takes office in May. Epsy Campbell will also be the country’s first Afro-Costa Rican to serve as vice president.

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