Toronto Diary
1 min

Costa Rica may have (accidentally) legalized same-sex civil unions

I have good news and not-really-bad-but-still-pretty-weird news. First, the good news: Costa Rica is now officially thiiiiiiiis close to legalizing same-sex civil unions. As for the not-really-bad-but-still-pretty-weird news: it may not have been an intentional decision.

According to Inquirer News, the Costa Rican Congress passed a bill on social service and marital laws. On paper this seems pretty mundane, but the interesting part here is that the bill never specified the whole “one man, one woman” thing, effectively entitling gay couples to civil unions.

President Laura Chinchilla on late Thursday signed the bill governing social services and marriage regulations for young people.

The mostly conservative members of Congress didn’t notice that the final version of the bill had changed earlier language that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

After realizing they had approved a bill that “confers social rights and benefits of a civil union, free from discrimination,” the lawmakers asked Chinchilla to veto the new law. She has refused.

You know, I often use this blog to rake random assholes over the coals for their stupidity, but this time, their stupidity actually made things better. Seriously, if it weren’t for the inability of the Costa Rican Congress members to read beyond a second grade level, the bill probably wouldn’t have ever passed. The ends justifies the means here . . . sort of.

For the record, the conservative members of Congress are currently trying to challenge the bill, but how exactly are they supposed to challenge this? The basic argument behind this challenge is that they didn’t bother reading it before they gave it the okay. As far as I can tell, admitting that you didn’t bother doing your job isn’t the fabulous legal manoeuvre you think it is.

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