by Josh Jackman Pink News:
A landmark court ruling has ordered 16 new countries to make same-sex marriage legal.
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights reached a decision today on a marriage equality petition submitted two years ago by Costa Rica President Luis Guillermo Solis.
20 countries agreed to follow the court’s rulings when they signed the American Convention on Human Rights, including 16 which have not yet legalised same-sex marriage.
These countries are Barbados, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Suriname.
Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay, who also follow the court’s decisions, have already legalised same-sex marriage.
The governments were ordered to “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”.
And the court has recommended that these rights be locked in with temporary decrees while the countries’ governments go through the process of passing permanent laws.
“The State confirms its commitment to comply”.
Costa Rican Vice President Ana Helena Chacón said: “Today is an historic day, a day of light.
The move follows other steps towards LGBT equality made over the past year in South America, including Uruguay appointing its first trans senator.
Michelle Suarez took her seat in October, while pledging to push for a law which would make it compulsory for one percent of government jobs to be reserved for trans people.