London, UK (BBC News (World)) — Costa Rica celebrates its first same-sex weddings, becoming the first country in Central America to allow same-sex marriage
The country is the first in Central America to allow same-sex couples to marry in landmark ruling.
President Carlos Alvarado said the law change meant Costa Rica now recognised the rights lesbian and gay people had always deserved.
He tweeted (in Spanish) that “empathy and love should from now on be the guiding principles which will allow us to move forward and build a country where there is room for everyone”.
The first same-sex marriage ceremony was broadcast as the culmination of a three-hour programme celebrating marriage equality.
Marriage equality came about after the constitutional court declared in August 2018 that a ban on same-sex weddings was unconstitutional and discriminatory.
The court gave Costa Rica's parliament 18 months to change the law.
Enrique Sánchez, Costa Rica's first openly gay member of parliament, welcomed the change and praised those who had spent years lobbying for the same-sex marriage ban to be lifted.