2 women risk jail time for same-sex wedding in Costa Rica

2015-11-10 09:55


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

San Jos - Same-sex weddings may be legal in a small but growing number of countries, but not in Costa Rica where two women who married, and their lawyer, face criminal charges, and having the union annulled.

The director of Costa Rica's Civil Registry, which records all in-country marriages and births, Luis Bolanos, said on Monday he was referring the matter to prosecutors and seeking the annulment.

The July wedding of Laura Florez-Estrada, a 28-year-old Spanish citizen living in Costa Rica, and Jazmin Elizondo, a 24-year-old Costa Rican, was registered without question because a Civil Registry clerical error on Elizondo's birth certificate gave her gender as "male."

Both women said they would take legal action to prevent their union being scrapped, relying on other laws that protect against sexual discrimination.

The statute against same-sex marriages in Costa Rica provides for jail time of between two and six years for those who know they are breaking the law, and the annulment of the marriage.

"We believe that these people were aware that a marriage between people of the same sex warrants a complaint, that parts of the Criminal Code might have been broken," Bolanos said.

He added that he would be informing Elizondo that the gender mistake on her Registry record had been corrected.

The lawyer who drew up the marriage papers, Marco Castillo, said he had legally wed a woman to a man according to the documents he had.

Castillo is also head of the Diversity Movement, which fights for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights in the country.

Twenty countries around the world have made, or are in the process of making, same-sex marriage legal. In the Americas, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina all permit such unions. Some of Mexico's states also have followed suit.

Read more on:    gay rights

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.