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Ecuador’s highest court approves same-sex marriage

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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