Committee edits out gay marriage possibility in law

After lawmakers passed a young people’s measure  July 3, one lawmaker said that the text legalized same-sex marriage.

The lawmaker is José María Villalta Florez-Estrada, who now is a presidential candidate.

His interpretation was disputed, but just to make sure, the Comisión Permanente de Asuntos Sociales passed and sent to the full legislature Thursday a clarification that eliminated the possibility of a same-sex interpretation.

The committee voted 5-1 for the revised wording.

The comments by Villalta created a sensation at the time and some same-sex couples sought to be married. They were turned down. Villalta is a member of the leftist Frente Amplio political party and the party’s sole representative in the legislature.

The committee members were reminded Thursday that the country’s family code says specifically that marriage is between a man and a woman. There were some other technical aspects that seem to refute the Villalta interpretation.

The members of the ruling Partido Liberación Nacional on the committee supported the text change.   The only opponent was María Eugenia Venegas Renault of Partido Acción Ciudadana.

She said that the action shows a lack of understanding of the reality of Costa Rican society and the demand for rights by same-sex couple.

The discussion of the measure in the full legislature is likely to be extensive.

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