Costa Rican Legislature Accidentally Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage?

Conservatives are calling on Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla to veto a bill passed in the legislature which contained language that appears to offer a path to legalized same-sex marriage in the country, Tico Times reports:

ChinchillaConservative lawmakers voted for the bill’s passage without recognizing the included language that could be interpreted to change the definition of marriage, according to the daily La Nación. Lawmakers immediately called for President Laura Chinchilla to veto the bill.

José María Villalta, a lawmaker from San José, inserted the language into the bill. Villalta is a member of the leftist Broad Front Party. The language confers social rights and benefits of a civil union, free from discrimination, according to La Nación. Villalta attached the measure to a reform of the Law of Young People, which covers various social services for young people and laws governing marriage.

“During the discussion in the first debate, we explained that the Law of Young People should be interpreted with this sense of opening to gays and no one objected,” Villalta said, according to La Republica.

Conservative politicians such as Justo Orozco, a member of the evangelical National Renovation Party, slammed the measure. “That preference is not a right,” Orozco said, according to La Nación. “It’s a stunted development of sexual identity. It can change like alcoholism, tobacco addiction.”

Chinchilla has in the past said she is "adamant" about her belief in 'traditional marriage' but has also said she would not oppose a court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.

She also said she will not veto this bill:

“No, we’re going to go forward and will sign this law. We understand that the debate is over how some interpret the law and this alone is not sufficient for the executive to veto the law,” Chinchilla told reporters, according to a video posted by

The president added that the only members of government equipped to interpret the law are judges and lawmakers.

Communications Minister Carlos Roverssi confirmed the president’s statement, according to the daily La Nación.


  1. Cd in DC says

    one more reason to love chinchilla, sorry PETA. Also costa ricans have great butts.

  2. Jere says

    So basically she’s doing her job. Even though the wording of the translation is a bit awkward, she seems to be punting any argument about interpretation to the court system. Sounds good to me. I will be curious though as to how she will direct her adminstration to interpret this new law until the courts rule definitively on it.

  3. mike85 says

    LMAO! Win Win for her, she signs the law and lets the courts decide for equal marriage rights so she doesn’t have to deal with this in the future. Hahaha!! This is good.

  4. says

    Having just visited Costa Rica and loved it, I sure wouldn’t mind additional incentives for a return, like seeing Costa Rica treating its LGBT citizens equally before the law.

  5. Derrick from Philly says

    @ “….one more reason to love chinchilla, sorry PETA. Also costa ricans have great butts.”

    Well, Cd in DC, you made me google “Costa Rican Butts” (who cares if I don’t have job by next?)

    Anyway, I wasn’t that impressed. But I was crazy about Panamanian butts.