Tricky wording of a bill just passed Monday by the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica legalizes same-sex marriage.
While conservative lawmakers voted in favor of the bill, once they realized the language could be interpreted as changing the definition of marriage, they called for President Laura Chinchilla to veto.
The language, written by leftist lawmaker Jose Maria Villalta, guarantees social rights and benefits of a civil union without discrimination. Villalta insists he didn’t sneak anything into the bill.
“During the discussion in the first debate,” Villalta said, “we explained that the Law of Young People should be interpreted with this sense of opening to gays and no one objected.”
Even if Chinchilla doesn’t veto the bill, the law apparently would not stand a chance in court. Recent polling in the country shows most Costa Ricans do not support same sex marriage.
Justo Orozco, a member of the evangelical, conservative National Renovation Party compared homosexuality to alcoholism and substance abuse.
“Preference is not a right. It’s a stunted development of sexual identity. It can change like alcoholism, tobacco addiction," he told the Costa Rican newspaper La Nacion.