World: Ecuador's highest court approves same-sex marriage - PressFrom - Australia

WorldEcuador's highest court approves same-sex marriage

07:41  13 june  2019
07:41  13 june  2019 Source:

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Ecuador's highest court approves same-sex marriage© Marcos PIN People in Guayaquil celebrate after Ecuador's Constitutional Court approves same sex marriage Ecuador's highest court on Wednesday approved same-sex marriage in a landmark ruling in the traditionally Catholic and conservative South American country.

The Constitutional Court said same-sex marriage had been approved in a five-to-four vote of its nine judges in a closed hearing.

Ecuador, where the church is very influential, thus joins Argentina, Brazil and Colombia in recognizing same-sex marriage.

"It means that Ecuador is more egalitarian. It is more just than yesterday, that it recognizes that human rights must be for all people without discrimination," said lawyer Christian Paula of the Patka Foundation, which provides legal advice for around 10 same-sex couples seeking to marry in the country.

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The four dissenting judges argued that in order to recognize same-sex marriage, constitutional reform would have to be debated in the National Assembly.

Gustavo Medina, a former Supreme Court president, told AFP that Ecuadoran authorities were obliged to abide by decisions of the Constitutional Court, which were "binding and mandatory."

Ecuador has recognized de-facto civil unions for same-sex couples since 2015.

The Constitutional Court approved same-sex marriage as it ruled on lawsuits by two pairs of men who wanted to wed.

The men in one of those couples are named Efrain Soria and Javier Benalcazar.

"I want to say hello to Javier, who is in Guayaquil. Honey, I love you," Soria told reporters in the capital Quito.

He urged other gays to stop hiding and "enjoy the happiness that comes from being equal, like anyone else."

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Same - sex marriage has been legally recognized in the U. S . state of Rhode Island since August 1, 2013. The state had authorized a limited form of domestic partnerships from 2002 to 2011, and the formation of civil unions from 2011 until the state began recognizing same - sex marriages in 2013.

Ecuador's current constitution, ratified in 2008, defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman. It also bars same-sex couples from adopting children.

The Constitutional Court judges that approved same-sex marriage said they based their decision on the idea that all people are equal. They also said they sought to counter any kind of discrimination.

Pictures: 27 countries that have legalized gay marriage (Reuters)

Ecuador's highest court approves same-sex marriage

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