Costa Rica’s marriage ban referrendum challenged

Timothy Kincaid

July 6th, 2010

An organization opposed to civil equality of gay people in Costa Rica has gathered signatures to place a referendum on the December 2010 ballot which would disallow same-sex civil unions. In a heavily Catholic country, gay rights supporters fear that the Catholic Church – which is becoming increasingly hostile to gay people around the world – would be able to influence the vote.

Last week, the nation’s highest court directed the election board to respond to a challenge to this referendum. (ticotimes)

The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court (Sala IV) has given the Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) three days to address a challenge relating to a referendum on same-sex civil unions.

The challenge was filed by longtime civil servant Esteban Quirós, who questioned the validity of addressing human rights issues enshrined in international treaties in a referendum. He said Costa Rica is bound by international conventions that protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation. In Costa Rica, the provisions of international treaties supersede all national laws except the Constitution.

Same-sex couples have a better chance of recognition for their relationships from legislative efforts as many politicians, including the president, are supportive.

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