Last Sunday, June 26th, more than 45 thousands of Costa Ricans marched down Paseo Colón during the country’s annual pride parade, LGBT activists have had much to celebrate, Costa Rica has an increasingly supportive climate in the socially and culturally conservative Catholic nation.
Since 2009, Costa Rica’s gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender movement has shown its effervescent pride on the city’s streets.
People from all the country’s corners assisted wrapped in rainbow flags and covered in face paint, came to celebrate the recognition of the rights of the sexually diverse at La Marcha de la Diversidad.
There’s still much to do but we are getting good news, for instance, the Vice President Ana Helena Chacón announced an executive order that would punish public workers for discriminating against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Besides possible disciplinary action, the vice president said that government institutions must recognize same-sex couples in their definition of family members when requesting time off work if their same-sex partner is seriously ill or dying.
Costa Rican Social Security System board of directors voted to expand health care benefits, now hundreds of same-sex couples have effectively applied to ensure their partners.
Minister Carlos Alvarado Quesada, stated in a press release, “I am very happy that we are contributing towards the community.
This latest step has to do with giving the many families made up of same-sex partners the peace of knowing they are protected and covered by the same rights that up until today only one part of the population enjoyed.”
Meanwhile, U.S. Ambassador S. Fitzgerald Haney, sporting an intense red pride march t-shirt, gave an inspiring statement today, saying, “There is still much ground to cover, so that people understand that love is love – it is simple, it is powerful, and it is the truth. And that everyone has the right to be themselves, and to live without fear and in peace.
“Today I want to thank the Costa Rican people for their support in the wake of the Orlando tragedy. But this is a time to celebrate, and we are doing that; we are loving and celebrating diversity,” continued Haney.
At the march, Marco Castillo, head of the country’s Diversity Movement, stated “We are very satisfied with the executive branch and the steps taken to improve rights within the government, as well as with the Social Security Agency, but the Justice System and Legislative Assembly owe us a lot, and we need to continue to fight in those arenas so that agreements are made in favor of our movement.”
We really hope next year besides celebrating another Marcha de la Diversidad, we can also celebrate the right for gays and lesbians in Costa Rica to marry the person they love this for sure will strengthen the fundamental rights of everyone in Costa Rica to equality and non-discrimination law.
Next gay pride parade in Costa Rica will be celebrated on July 2nd 2017, We really hope to have more people and local business supporting this movement and finally get all our rights respected as an LGBT community in a country proud to be one of the “happiest countries in the world”.