Costa Rica passes decrees boosting LGBT rights

San José (AFP) –


Costa Rica's President Carlos Alvarado on Friday signed a number of decrees and norms granting various rights to the LGBT community.

These measures will allow same-sex couples to receive an allowance for housing that is given to low-income families, recognizes mixed nationality homosexual couples and extends the recognition of gender identity to migrants, amongst others.

Earlier this year, the government recognized the gender identity of Costa Rican transsexuals.

One directive states that it is in the public interest to allow transsexuals to undergo hormone replacement therapy through the state health system.

"We are recognizing that there are some rights enjoyed by the majority of the population, while others don't enjoy those rights," said Alvarado.

"What these measures are doing is implementing the equality that was missing."

Nisa Sanz, an activist for the family rights of homosexual couples, said these measures were settling a historic debt with people who have long been the victims of discrimination, but said there was still some way to go before achieving equality.

"There still needs to be progress in marriage for all. The only legal measure that guarantees full family protection is marriage equality," she said.

In August, the Supreme Court ordered parliament to legalize same-sex marriage.

The court's ruling included a clause that will automatically legalize marriage between homosexual couples if parliament has not already passed such a law before May 2020.