Yesterday, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that Costa Rica must recognize marriage equality and rights for same-sex couples. The court’s decision is binding in 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries, representing a huge step forward for equality in the Western Hemisphere.
The ruling applies to Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname and Uruguay.
Also on Tuesday, the Costa Rican government announced compliance with the ruling.
“Today is an historic day, a day of light. The Inter-American Court vindicates the rights of LGBTI persons under the American Convention, and reminds all the States of their responsibility and historical moral obligation to this population,” said Costa Rican Vice President Ana Helena Chacón.
It is important to note that not all counties will respect the ruling. Currently, being gay is a criminal offense in homosexuality Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Dominica, Grenada and Jamaica do not submit to the rulings of the court.