Panama Supreme Court judge rules against same-sex marriage

A judge on the Panama Supreme Court has reportedly issued a draft ruling on whether to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.

La Estrella, a Panamanian newspaper, on Friday reported Justice Luis Ramón Fábrega has concluded the two portions of the country’s family code that prevent gays and lesbians from marrying in the Central American country are not unconstitutional. La Estrella also reported the draft ruling “leaves the door open for members of the National Assembly” to “legislate on civil unions between people of the same sex.”

“Equality must be constitutionally guaranteed via the law,” wrote Fábrega, according to La Estrella. “It is incumbent upon the Assembly to pass the necessary laws to comply with the purposes and the exercise of the state’s duties as outlined under the constitution.”

A Panamanian television station reported it obtained a copy of the draft ruling from sources within the country’s judiciary, even though it has not been released publicly.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in both lawsuits over the summer. They have been combined into one case. Read more via Washington Blade