Alexandra Quiros and Dunia Araya, a lesbian couple, became the first to marry after the same sex marriage became legal in Costa Rica.
The wedding ceremony took place just after the new law came into effect at midnight and was shown on national TV. It was broadcasted as the culmination of a three-hour programme celebrating marriage equality. President Carlos Alvarado Quesada also declared that the law change meant Costa Rica now recognised the rights lesbian and gay people had always deserved. "This change will cause a significant social and cultural transformation of the country," Alvarado Quesada said in a video posted on Twitter late on Monday.
Gay pride in Costa Rica
Same-sex sexual relations have been legal in the country since 1971. Marriage equality came two years after the constitutional court declared in August 2018 that a ban on same-sex weddings was unconstitutional and discriminatory. Some religious groups had opposed the move and more than 20 lawmakers tried to delay the change in the law. "Costa Rica is celebrating today: marriage equality has become a reality in the country - the first one in Central America!" said the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) in a tweet. Costa Rica becomes the 28th United Nations member state to recognise same-sex marriage. "An extraordinary moment of celebration and gratitude to the work of so many activists and of quiet reflection of the lives of those who lived without seeing this moment," tweeted Victor Madrigal-Borloz, an independent UN expert on sexual orientation.