Costa Rica's Same-sex Couples Can Marry in 2020

SAN JOSE — Same-sex couples in Costa Rica will have the right to get married by mid-2020, the nation's constitutional court has ruled, a first for socially conservative Central America.

In a majority decision made public on Thursday, the court backed the opinion of the San Jose-based Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which said in January that countries in the region should legalize same-sex unions.

Legalizing gay marriage was a major campaign promise by President Carlos Alvarado Quesada, who took office in May.

In recent years, same-sex couples have been allowed to marry in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay and parts of Mexico.

"It's now just a matter of time. Full equal rights will come, love will prevail," Alvarado Quesada tweeted on Thursday.

The ruling is scheduled to be published in the official gazette next week and will take effect 18 months afterward.

The court's ruling, "which confirms the unconstitutionality of the articles that prohibit equal civil marriage, is a big step forward toward equality," the president added in his tweet.

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