Thursday, January 11, 2018

Inter-American Human Rights Court Backs Same-Sex Marriage

While the Trump/Pence regime and its Christofascists base continue their war on LGBT Americans and their civil rights, a major ruling has been handed down which could lead to same sex marriage being legalized across South America and parts of the Caribbean.  The ruling was addressed to Costa Rica, but the precedent should trigger a domino effect across the region.  The usual suspects - self-enriching scamvangelis, the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church, and hypocrisy-filled evangelicals will lament the ruling which is another defeat of their efforts to impose their hate and fear based religious beliefs on society and civil governments.  The Court specifically stated that domestic partnerships and similar arrangements short of marriage were not sufficient. The BBC has details on the ruling and the fallout it will trigger.  Here are highlights:
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has ruled that same-sex marriages should be recognised.  The court's rulings apply to countries which have signed the American Convention on Human Rights.
Some of the signatories already recognise same-sex marriages while others recognise same-sex civil unions.
But others, such as Bolivia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Paraguay and Peru do not recognise either and will be expected to change their laws.
The court was established by the regional body, the Organization of American States (OAS), and signatories to the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights are bound by its rulings.
The ruling comes as a number of Latin American countries have changed or are debating changing their laws to allow same-sex couples to marry.
The judges said that governments "must recognise and guarantee all the rights that are derived from a family bond between people of the same sex".  They also said that it was inadmissible and discriminatory for a separate legal provision to be established just for same-sex marriages.
The judges demanded that governments "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".
Recognising the difficulty in passing such laws in countries where there is strong opposition to same-sex marriage, they recommended that governments pass temporary decrees until new legislation was brought in.
The judges issued the ruling in response to a motion brought by Costa Rica.  The Central American government asked the court to give its opinion on whether it had an obligation to extend property rights to same-sex couples. The court ruled that it did.
The Costa Rican government also wanted to know whether it should allow transgender people to change their name on their identity documents. Again, the court ruled that it should.  Costa Rica's Vice-President Ana Helena Chac√≥n welcomed the court's ruling, saying it would be adopted "in its totality".

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