Same-sex couples in Ecuador have taken another step toward equality, as civil unions will now be included on national identification cards.

Despite same-sex marriage still being illegal, civil unions were introduced in Ecuador in 2008.

President Rafael Correa made the announcement that same-sex couples in civil unions will now be allowed to include their unions on the ID.

He said: “Gays, lesbians, transgender and transsexual people have the full constitutional right to include their civil union on their ID cards.”

Until this change, only opposite-sex marriages were listed on national IDs.

The President continued: “If there was any doubt about heterosexual or same-sex civil unions being put on national ID cards, there is none any more.”

He stopped short of supporting same-sex marriage, however, saying: “I have never offered to support” equal marriage. Ecuador is mostly a Catholic nation, including President Correa.

The constitution of Ecuador currently states that marriage is between one man and one woman, and that only straight couples can adopt.