Court ruling brings marriage equality to the western hemisphere

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has ruled that marriage equality should be recognised without discrimination.

The court holds jurisdiction over all countries who are signatories to the American Convention of Human Rights, and will see same-sex marriage become legal in a number of Latin and North American nations.

The ruling is a result of a motion presented by Costa Rica, who requested the court’s opinion on their obligation to offer property rights to same-sex couples.

While the US, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay and parts of Mexico already recognise equal marriage, others including Bolivia, Cuba, Honduras, Peru, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic will have to start work on enacting new laws.

Other nations bound by the Convention had already begun work on equalising their laws, with Chile’s Congress having a marriage bill on the table, and Ecuador recognising same-sex civil unions.

The court’s judges declared that governments must “recognise and guarantee all the rights that are derived from a family bond between people of the same sex.”

The court also ruled that governments under its jurisdictions must “guarantee access to all existing forms of domestic legal systems, including the right to marriage, in order to ensure the protection of all the rights of families formed by same-sex couples without discrimination.”

OIP Staff


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