(PM) — Ecuador’s highest court on Wednesday legalized same-sex marriage in a milestone ruling in the traditionally Catholic and conservative South American nation.
The Constitutional Court said same-sex marriage had been approved in a five-to-four vote of its nine judges in a closed-door hearing.
Ecuador, therefore parallels Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia in recognizing same-sex marriage.
“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,” said lawyer Christian Paula of the Patka Foundation, who administers legal advice for around ten same-sex pairs attempting to marry in the nation.
The four dissenting judges contended that to recognize same-sex marriage, the National Assembly would have to debate it.
Ecuador has accepted de-facto civil unions for same-sex couples since 2015.
The Constitutional Court legalized same-sex marriage as it decreed on lawsuits by two pairs of men who wanted to espouse.
Efraín Soria and Javier Benalcázar have attempted to lawfully marry for years. After the Civil Registry denied their application for a marriage license in 2018, they filed a lawsuit at the Provincial Court of Justice of Pichincha.
Ecuador’s current constitution, enacted in 2008, specifies marriage as the union between a man and a woman. It also prohibits same-sex pairs from adopting kids.
The Constitutional Court judges that legalized same-sex marriage said they based their judgment on the notion that all people are equal. They also stated they sought to counter any discrimination.