Costa Rican Lawmakers Accidentally Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

Surprise! Costa Rica’s legislature passed a bill on Monday which contained language that appears to offer a path to legalized same-sex marriage in the country. The only catch is, Conservative lawmakers voted for the bill’s passage without recognizing it included language that could be interpreted to change the definition of marriage in the Central American country, according to La Nación. Lawmakers immediately called on President Laura Chinchilla to veto the bill.

The Tico Times reports:

José María Villalta, a lawmaker from San José, inserted the language into the bill. Villalta is a member of the leftist Broad Front Party. The language confers social rights and benefits of a civil union, free from discrimination, according to La Nación. Villalta attached the measure to a reform of the Law of Young People, which covers various social services for young people and laws governing marriage.

“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,” Villalta said, according to La Republica.

Conservative politicians such as Justo Orozco, a member of the evangelical National Renovation Party, slammed the measure. “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.”

Although Chinchilla has in the past said she firmly believes in ‘traditional marriage’ she has also said she would not oppose a court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.


Chinchilla told reporters she will not veto this bill:

“No, we’re going to go forward and will sign this law. We understand that the debate is over how some interpret the law and this alone is not sufficient for the executive to veto the law,” Chinchilla told reporters, according to a video posted by

The president added that the only members of government equipped to interpret the law are judges and lawmakers.

Communications Minister Carlos Roverssi confirmed the president’s statement, according to the daily La Nación.

Newsy Reports on The Accidental Bill: