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Costa Rica becomes first Central American country to recognize same-sex marriage

Posted at 11:05 AM, May 26, 2020

Costa Rica became the first country in Central America to recognize same-sex marriages on Tuesday when an order by the country's Supreme Court went into effect.

Though the coronavirus pandemic limited couples to mostly private ceremonies, AFP reports that the country aired a public television special about LGBTQ rights. The Associated Press reports that the country will hold further public celebrations once pandemic-related lockdowns are lifted.

Costa Rica's Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal in 2018 and gave the country's General Assembly 18 months to enact a law, or else the marriages would be recognized automatically. The General Assembly never passed such a law, and the 18-month window closed on Tuesday.

Though Costa Rica is the first in Central America to recognize same-sex marriage country-wide, there are four other countries in Latin America that have already done so: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay. Several Mexican states and Mexico City have also voted to recognize gay marriage.