As countries around the world host Pride month celebrations, Ecuador just legalized same-sex marriage in what has been a historic week for LGBTQ rights. On Wednesday, Ecuador’s highest court ruled in favor of two gay couples who filed lawsuits after the country’s civil registry refused their requests to get married, Reuters reported. Ecuador’s legalization of same-sex marriage comes not long after Botswana’s decriminalization of gay sex and Bhutan’s efforts to do the same.
According to CNN, the Quito constitutional court judges in Ecuador ruled five to four in favor of marriage equality. These judges argued that Ecuador’s current marriage laws were discriminatory and unconstitutional, and they called for equal rights for same-sex couples. For the past decade, same-sex unions have been permitted in Ecuador, the Associated Press reported, but same-sex couples in civil unions have not been granted as many rights as married couples, especially in regards to inheritance and estate laws.
Now that Ecuador’s top judges have ruled in favor of marriage equality, the constitutional court has 10 days to inform local government offices of their ruling, per CNN. After that, same-sex couples will be able to get married, even before Ecuador’s National Assembly officially changes the country’s marriage laws. One of the plaintiffs in the case, Efraín Soria, told the AP that he and his partner Xavier Benalcázar would immediately begin planning their wedding following the ruling.
According to Reuters, Ecuador is the 27th country to legalize same-sex marriage. Ecuador’s marriage equality ruling came just one day after Botswana’s High Court decided to overturn colonial-era laws that criminalized homosexuality, per The New York Times. And less than a week before Ecuador’s legalization of same-sex marriage, Bhutan’s lower house voted to repeal certain sections of the country’s penal code, paving the way for the decriminalization of homosexuality.
More to come…
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