Costa Rica Notaries Cannot Marry Same-Sex Couples

Despite a resolution of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that guarantees same-sex marriages in Costa Rica, the first gay couple to have tied the knot tomorrow will have to wait.

This morning (Friday), the Consejo Superior de Notariado de Costa Rica (Superior Notarial Council of Costa Rica) confirmed Thursday’s order that notaries cannot marry people of the same-sex.

In the report by La Nacion, the order says, “That, until there is a legislative reform, or an annulment sentence is issued in a constitutional way, the rules that regulate marriage in Costa Rica, specifically the article 14, subsection 6 of the Family Code, remain in force, and for this reason public notaries, in the exercise of their duties, must adhere to them.

Article 14, paragraph 6 reads, “A marriage is legally impossible between persons of the same sex.”

As reported by the Q on Thursday, Mario Arias and Roberth Castillo, confirmed that they were going to be married on Saturday, January 20 and later in the evening have the reception for friends and family, to celebrate their union.

However, that is not going to happen. At least not tomorrow.

“Due to the recent pronouncement of the Notarial Council, we are evaluating at this time our decision regarding tomorrow and the following days,” Arias told La Teja.

In Costa Rica, for marriages to be registered with the Civil Registry, they must be officiated by a notary public. Lawyers can be notaries, but notaries do not have to be lawyers. Even religious weddings have to be registered by way of a notary to become legal in the country.

In Costa Rica, the Notary Public is the person that will be responsible for recording the marriage declaration in the Costa Rican Civil Registry which in turn is what makes the marriage legal in Costa Rica.

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