Nice Time: Costa Rica May Have Legalized Gay Marriage, By Accident. Oops!
Well here's some nice-time, maybe! The legislature of Costa Rica passed a measure on Monday that includes language that might make same-sex marriage legal, largely because conservative legislators didn't recognize that's what they were voting for. It's not certain whether the law will survive judicial challenges or legislative attempts to reverse it, but let's be optimists and say hooray maybe!
So how do you get conservatives to pass a cool progressive reform without knowing that's what they've done? The most we can manage here is the occasional senator voting the exact opposite of how they meant to, and then getting a do-over anyway. What happened was that there's this thing called "the Law of Young People, which covers various social services for young people and laws governing marriage," and it was being reformed anyway, so a clever leftist legislator, José María Villalta, just added in a measure that "confers social rights and benefits of a civil union, free from discrimination."
Villalta adds that there was no trickery, because
“During the discussion in the first debate, we explained that the Law of Young People should be interpreted with this sense of opening to gays and no one objected,”
Conservative members of Costa Rica's Legislative Assembly sound a heck of a lot like their American counterparts, proving that Derp is a universal language. Josto Orozco of the evangelical National Renovation Party, insisted that
“That preference is not a right,” Orozco said, according to La Nación. “It’s a stunted development of sexual identity. It can change like alcoholism, tobacco addiction.”
This is so true, Weknow any number of people who used to like cock, but then they got the patch.
And Carlos Avendaño, from a totally different evangelical party, the National Restoration Party (those splitters!) said that there's no way a change in the Law of Young People would legalize gay marriage, because it just wouldn't: it's already been established that marriage is between a man and a woman, so any changes in the law would be for heterosexual partners only, duh.
President Laura Chinchilla said in 2011 that she would not oppose gay marriage if courts allowed it, but she also hasn't campaigned for any changes. On Wednesday, she said that she would sign the bill, adding that it's up to the courts to decide if it actually does allow same-sex marriages. Not exactly resolute, but it's no surprise that a Chinchilla is so soft.
So hurrah, maybe, for Costa Rica, and good luck in the courts! We are kind of hoping that José María Villalta will make himself available to consult for American Democrats.