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Costa Rican officials refuse to approve first same-sex wedding just a day before ceremony

Jasmine Andersson January 22, 2018
costa rica couple

A couple has said they will “keep on fighting” after their groundbreaking marriage in Costa Rica was postponed.

Roberth Castillo and Mario Arias were set to make history as the first same-sex couple to be married in the Central American country.

However, their hopes have been dashed after their wedding was postponed just a day before they were due to get married.

Government officials informed the couple that the wedding would not be taking place as “local laws” needed to be updated in order for the ceremony to take place.

“Last night [Friday] we realised what was happening… it impacted us a lot when the notary told us we had to postpone the weeding,’ said Arias to La Nacion.

“We’ll postpone the wedding… but we’ll continue with the fight,” he added.

However, it soon transpired that the notary officials had refused to sign the marriage documents under instruction from the Notary Council.

The Council wrote that “the rules that regulate marriage in Costa Rica … remain in force,” in a letter to the signatories.

Costa Rica’s Justice Minister Marco Feoli has asked the council to clarify the “contradictory” ruling.

“The Superior Notary Council’s agreement not only contradicts the opinion, but also the position of the Executive Power regarding the ruling,” said Feoli.

“President Luis Guillermo Solís has already called on Costa Rican institutions to comply with the ruling, although he said this process may be “gradual” and require extensive dialogue.”

Costa Rica agreed to permit same-sex marriages after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights agreed to an equality petition submitted two years ago by Costa Rica President Luis Guillermo Solis.

The ruling also meant that Barbados, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Suriname are legally compelled to introduce same-sex marriage into their nations.

More: Americas, Costa Rica, costa rica, LGBT rights, same sex marriage, ssm

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