Costa Rican president supports same-sex partnerships


Costa Rican President Óscar Arias said April 5 that he supports legal recognition of same-sex couples, La Nación reported.

The comment came in response to a question from the newspaper.

“Yes, there should be legal recognition,” Arias said. “One doesn’t choose sexual inclination. It is given by nature or God. One doesn’t choose it, neither men nor women.”

“It goes against nature to believe that someone stops to think at age 14 whether they will be heterosexual or homosexual,” the president said. “They are things given by God and we simply have to evolve and accept them. … The (Catholic) Church will have to evolve.”

The president of the LGBT group Movimiento Diversidad, Abelardo Araya, called Arias’ statement “bold” but “a little late.”

He said the remarks are a “symbol” and can help “establish a bridge” with President-elect Laura Chinchilla.

Lesbian activist Emma Chacón added: “He could have done it a year or two ago (but it) is positive for the new government. It’s a legacy that he is leaving Chinchilla.”

A bill to grant gay couples pension, inheritance, immigration, social-security and other rights is languishing in the Legislative Assembly, and Chinchilla has expressed no interest in making its passage a priority.

During the campaign, Chinchilla said: “We defend the right of all Costa Ricans, independently of their sexual preferences, to have the protection of the state and of the institutions, and to have access to the different opportunities that Costa Rican society offers. Nevertheless, there are different ways other than marriage to guarantee homosexual couples the right to the patrimony of their partner, to patrimonial rights, to political rights, to civil rights. We are working on this and I hope that we certainly can get ourselves in agreement without needing to touch an institution like marriage, which also has been conceived by so many Costa Rican families within a different concept.”

by Rex Wockner,


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