Costa Rica May Have Just Legalized Gay Marriage ... Accidentally

Some are interpreting new bill as legalizing same-sex unions
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2013 4:48 PM CDT
Costa Rica May Have Just Legalized Gay Marriage ...Accidentally
A man waving a gay pride flag is reflected in the pavement as he protests outside the Supreme Court in San Jose, Costa Rica, Friday July 30, 2010.   (AP Photo/Monica Quesada)

Um ... whoops? Costa Rica's Legislative Assembly passed a bill Monday, and conservative lawmakers didn't realize until Tuesday that the bill could very well have just legalized same-sex civil unions, Tico Times reports, citing La Nación. Seems the lawmakers failed to recognize language that one leftist lawmaker inserted into the bill, which could be interpreted as changing the definition of marriage. (The measure was a reform of a law covering social services for youth, as well as marriage.)

Specifically, the new version removes language defining unions as between a man and a woman, and says a common-law marriage can be obtained "without discrimination against to human dignity." But President Laura Chinchilla still has to sign the bill, and lawmakers are calling for her to veto it (though she said yesterday that she won't). Plus, even if it does survive, same-sex civil unions would need to make it through a court challenge. (More gay marriage stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.