Photo by Alvin Mahmudov on Unsplash

Same-sex marriages are coming to Ecuador.

5 out of 9 judges in the South American country’s Constitutional Court ruled in favor of legalizing marriage equality after a long legal battle over the issue. The winning party in the court battle was a group of several couples and LGBTQ rights advocates.

According to Deutsche Welle or DW, plaintiff Efraín Soria celebrated the announcement by saying it was, “a joy for our entire community and Ecuador.” Soria also told the Associated Press that he will immediately begin planning a wedding with his partner Xavier Benalcázar.

Christian Paula, who represented the 10 same-sex couples during the court case, added, “It means that Ecuador is more egalitarian, it is more just than yesterday, that it recognizes that human rights must be for all people without discrimination.”

Image via HIVGaps.com

This monumental ruling was influenced by 2018’s Inter-American Court on Human Rights ruling. That international court ruled in favor of gay marriage and started a legal precedent for which several Latin American countries followed.

Ecuador then saw another precedent of judges approving same-sex marriage later that year. Two judges approved two lesbian couples to marry despite the law not being officially changed at that point. (Though, it has recognized civil unions since 2015). Unfortunately, the Civil Registry office appealed that decision, but the case paved the way for this Constitutional Court ruling.

Ecuador’s ombudsman (an official appointed to investigate complaints against maladministration) welcomed the decision, according to DW. The official said the ruling “reclaims opportunities for vulnerable groups who have been discriminated against.”

He also added that Ecuador has become “the fifth South American country in which two people of the same sex can access the rights and obligations of a civil marriage.”

Ecuador has now joined the ranks of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Colombia. 

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