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Ecuador’s High Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage Nation becomes fifth in South American to allow LGBTQ folks to wed BY MATT TRACY


n a narrow 5-4 ruling, Ecuador’s Constitutional Court on June 12 approved same-sex marriage and directed the nation’s congress to pass a law providing gay and lesbian couples with full marriage rights. The ruling came as a result of a lawsuit lodged by multiple same-sex couples who sought equality under the law in a nation that had only provided LGBTQ folks with civil union rights, which lacked certain protections afforded to married different-sex couples. It is not immediately clear how long couples will need to wait before marrying. Ecuadorianbased constitutional attorney Salim Zaidán told CNN that couples would be able to marry once the court informs local government offices of the ruling, which is required within 10 days. The congress, known as the National Assembly in Ecuador, will subsequently need to pass a law amending the marriage law. The ruling, which came in the midst of Pride Month and celebrations of the 50th anniversa-



A couple celebrates a civil union in Ecuador, where gay and lesbian couples will now be able to enjoy full marriage rights.

ry of the Stonewall uprising, marked the second major development in LGBTQ rights globally in the last week, after Botswana scrapped

its sodomy law. Freedom to Marry founder Evan Wolfson, who has focused on campaigning for same-sex marriage rights internationally after playing a key role in that effort in the US, told Gay City News in a written statement that the ruling in Ecuador “represents another strong victory for the rule of law in Latin America, and, most importantly for love and families, as well as equality and freedom.” “It’s time for all loving and committed couples in Ecuador, and across the entire region, to have the freedom to marry,” he said. Ecuador is now the 27th nation in the world to outright approve same-sex marriage. Ecuador joins Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Uruguay as the South American nations having legalized same-sex marriage. Marriage rights are also seen in the Falkland Islands as well as the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, which are British territories off the coast of South America, though there are questions about whether the South

➤ ECUADOR MARRIAGE, continued on p.25

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