Ecuador’s highest court on Wednesday approved same-sex marriage in a landmark ruling in the traditionally Catholic and conservative South American country.
The Constitutional Court said same-sex marriage had been approved in a five-to-four vote of its nine judges in a closed hearing.
Ecuador, where the church is very influential, thus joins 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, which provides legal advice for around 10 same-sex couples seeking to marry in the country.
The four dissenting judges argued that in order to recognize same-sex marriage, constitutional reform would have to be debated in the National Assembly.
Gustavo Medina, a former Supreme Court president, told AFP that Ecuadoran authorities were obliged to abide by decisions of the Constitutional Court, which were “binding and mandatory.”
Ecuador has recognized de-facto civil unions for same-sex couples since 2015.
The Constitutional Court approved same-sex marriage as it ruled on lawsuits by two pairs of men who wanted to wed.
The men in one of those couples are named Efrain Soria and Javier Benalcazar.
“I want to say hello to Javier, who is in Guayaquil. Honey, I love you,” Soria told reporters in the capital Quito.
He urged other gays to stop hiding and “enjoy the happiness that comes from being equal, like anyone else.”
Ecuador’s current constitution, ratified in 2008, defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman. It also bars same-sex couples from adopting children.
The Constitutional Court judges that approved same-sex marriage said they based their decision on the idea that all people are equal. They also said they sought to counter any kind of discrimination.
How Trump’s limited intellectual development has given him a ‘God complex’
Trump's lack of respect for the country's long-standing democratic norms and institutions also extends to America's alliances, security arrangements with its allies and friends, and the international order more broadly. To that end Trump has threatened to remove the U.S. from NATO, hailed the merits of nationalism (while barely pretending that does not mean white nationalism), tried to surrender U.S. security to Russian President Vladimir Putin and proclaimed on numerous occasions that America will now stand (mostly) alone in the world.
This story first ran at Salon in November of 2018.
Danish media crushes ‘questionable real estate agent’ Trump for his ‘absurd’ snub of their country
President Donald Trump has found himself getting skewered by the Danish media after he abruptly canceled a planned meeting with the Danish prime minister after she refused to sell Greenland to the United States.
Copenhagen-based newspaper Berlingske on Wednesday published several articles and editorials that took Trump to task for snubbing an important European ally because it would not entertain selling him Greenland.
The paper's lead editorial, for example, declared Trump's cancellation "absurd" and said that he was deeply harming his country's relationship with Denmark.
Amid recession warnings, Trump reportedly considering more tax cuts for rich and corporations
"Two of Trump's ideas for stimulating the economy are 1) cutting the corporate tax rate a little more (after cutting it a lot didn't do much), and 2) indexing capital gains to inflation. It's tax cuts for the rich all the way down."
While continuing to publicly downplay warning signs that the U.S. economy is barreling toward a recession, the Trump White House is reportedly weighing a number of supposed stimulus measures, including more tax cuts for the rich and large corporations.