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September 11th, 2010
It should be interesting to see how this all shakes out. Costa Rica is quite socialistic in its leanings, especially insofar as human rights are concerned. That would seem to bode well for those in favor of same sex marriages. It is just not that simple.
All things being equal, and they are not, it would seem to be a distinct possibility that this issue could end up in the SALA IV, the Costa Rica constitutional court where it just might be favorably considered. All things are not equal however.
If this topic is of interest, read on!
Not surprisingly, the primary (but certainly not the only) opposition to same sex marriage is the Catholic Church, a powerful force to reckoned with for sure.
Costa Rica is about 90-95% Catholic, but unlike many countries, church and state are not separate. They are one. In fact, the Catholic Church is the official church of Costa Rica and is even part of the Costa Rica Constitution:
TITLE VI RELIGION
ARTICLE 75. The Roman Catholic and Apostolic Religion is the religion of the State, which contributes to its maintenance, without preventing the free exercise in the Republic of other forms of worship that are not opposed to universal morality or good customs.
(As amended with regard to its number by Article 1, Law No. 5703, June 6, 1975).
See what I mean? This is no slam dunk for those in favor of same sex unions.
The Church is now flexing its muscle and making clear their position on this matter, and their muscle cannot be underestimated. Further, Costa Rica President Laura Chinchilla has indicated that she too is not in favor of same sex unions. Still, this may well pit the Church against the Constitutional Court at some point, and all we can do is wait to see the fireworks.
Just recently, the Bishops of Costa Rica sent a strong message to the Costa Rica Asamblea (the congress). See below the article by the Catholic News Agency (CNS) or click here to read it directly on the CNA web site.
I have no idea of course where this will end nor how, but those Ticos I have chatted with on this matter seem almost uniformly against this matter. Saying that, my sample size is admittedly small and cannot be relied upon to mean anything.
Feel free to comment (politely!) on this topic and express your own opinions or feelings. The key word is politely! Comments not fitting this description will never see the light of day.
Costa Rica, Costa Rica Law, Culture, Gay - Lesbian, Life in Costa Rica | Comments (7)
San José, Costa Rica, Sep 10, 2010 / 06:03 pm (CNA).- The Bishops’ Conference of Costa Rica has sent a message to the country’s lawmakers noting that it is an injustice to sacrifice the common good and the rights of the family in response to pressure from those who support making gay unions equal to marriage.
“Marriage is not just any union between two human beings,” they stated, explaining that it was “founded by the Creator, who gave it a particular nature…and an undeniable purpose.” For this reason, the bishops said, they oppose all measures aiming “to make same-sex unions equal to marriage.
“The legalization of such unions distorts the understanding of fundamental moral values and undermines the institution of marriage as such.”
“In making same-sex unions equal to marriage or the family under the law, the state is acting arbitrarily and is contradicting its own duties,” the bishops continued.
They stressed that “men and women with homosexual tendencies must be treated with respect and must not be subject to discrimination.” However, the bishops then reaffirmed the Church’s teaching that “homosexual practices” are “objectively contrary to God’s plan for the human being.”
The bishops also pointed out that the vast majority of Costa Ricans are opposed to the legalization of same-sex unions,” and they rejected the argument that such a move is necessary to prevent such individuals from being deprived of their rights as citizens and persons.
“In reality, like all citizens, thanks to their private autonomy, they can always resort to common law in order to safeguard legal situations that are of mutual interest,” the bishops said. “On the other hand, it would be a grave injustice to sacrifice the common good and the rights of families in order to allow them to obtain benefits that can and should be guaranteed by means that do not harm society at large,” they added.
What these groups and their supporters are doing is nothing more than the “first step towards marriage and adoption, as in fact has occurred in other countries,” the bishops said.