Ecuador has legalised gay marriage in its highest courts in a landmark ruling attempting to expand LGBT+ rights in the small South American country. Ecuador is the fifth country on the continent to do so, following Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia and Uruguay.
"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.
Nine judges voted five to four in favour of the motion in the country's Supreme court. 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’s highest court authorized same-sex marriage!?️?
With the 5-to-4 ruling, Ecuador joins Latin American nations Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia and Uruguay! pic.twitter.com/xsAj1FpJzI
— Activism And Stuff (@activismnstuff) June 13, 2019
Ecuador has recognised de-facto civil unions for same-sex couples since 2015. A couple who won the right is Efrain Soria and Javier Benalcazar. Following the trial, Soria announced to reporters: "I want to say hello to Javier, who is in Guayaquil. Honey, I love you", AFP reports. He urged the gay community of Ecuador to "enjoy the happiness that comes from being equal, like anyone else."
The judges that approved the legislation said that they based their decision on the fact that all should be equal.