Same-sex marriage in Ecuador
Same-sex marriage in Ecuador has been legal since 8 July 2019, following the Constitutional Court ruling that the country's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional under the Constitution of Ecuador. The ruling took effect upon publication in the official registry. Ecuador became the fifth South American country to allow same-sex couples to marry.
The country has also recognized same-sex civil unions since 2008.
- 1 Civil unions
- 2 Same-sex marriage
- 3 Public opinion
- 4 See also
- 5 Notes
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Since the early 20th century, opposite-sex civil unions, available after two years of cohabition, have been granted the same rights as civil marriages. In the late 19th century, the liberal revolution led by Eloy Alfaro established the separation of church and state in the country. Since the consolidation of this separation in the first decades of the 20th century, only civil marriage or unions have been recognized by the state.
During the debate over the 2008 Ecuadorian Constitution, LGBT organizations campaigned for the inclusion of same-sex civil unions, which were eventually included in Article 68 of the Constitution, despite protests from the Catholic Church and evangelical groups. Under the text of the new Constitution, the only difference between same-sex and opposite-sex unions is that adoptions by same-sex couples are not permitted; adoption rights are the same for civil unions as for civil marriages, but do not extend to same-sex unions. Protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation had already been introduced in the 1998 Constitution, Ecuador being among the first three countries in the world to adopt such a constitutional protection.
President Rafael Correa stated that he wanted the document to allow same-sex unions, saying that "the profoundly humanistic position of this government is to respect the intrinsic dignity of everyone, of every human being, independently of their creed, race, sexual preference. We will give certain guarantees to stable gay couples but matrimony will continue being reserved for a man, a woman and the family. Every person has dignity, that's to say, one must respect a person independently of their sexual preference. Be careful not to deny employment to someone because of their sexual preference. That is discrimination, that is unconstitutional."
Text of Article 68 of the Ecuador ConstitutionEdit
In Spanish: Art. 68.- "La unión estable y monogámica entre dos personas libres de vínculo matrimonial que formen un hogar de hecho, por el lapso y bajo las condiciones y circunstancias que señale la ley, generará los mismos derechos y obligaciones que tienen las familias constituidas mediante matrimonio. La adopción corresponderá sólo a parejas de distinto sexo." [a]
That is: "The stable and monogamous union between two persons, free of matrimonial bond, who form a de facto couple, for the duration and under the conditions and circumstances that the law provides, will generate the same rights and obligations as held by families built through marriage. Adoption will pertain only to couples of different sexes."
Although civil unions were legalised in the 2008 Constitution, they were not formally recognized as a civil status until 15 September 2014, when the Directorate General of the Civil Registry began registering them nationwide. Three cities, Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca, had already begun recognizing civil unions prior to September 2014.
On 21 April 2015, the National Assembly voted in favor of a bill codifying civil unions into statute law, by a vote of 89-1. The bill also removed the requirement to have lived together for two years. President Rafael Correa signed it into law on 19 June 2015.
Under Article 67 of the 2008 Constitution, "marriage is the union between man and woman based on the free consent of the parties and their equal rights, obligations and legal capacity."[b] However, on 12 June 2019, the Constitutional Court ruled that the article was unconstitutional.
During a series of interviews with local newspaper El Universo before the 2013 Ecuadorian general election, two of the eight presidential candidates expressed their support for same-sex marriage: leftist candidates Alberto Acosta, from the Plurinational Unity of the Lefts, and Norman Wray, from the Ruptura 25 movement. President Rafael Correa did not participate in the interviews. However, in a 2011 interview for Radio France Internationale, Correa said that he "couldn't accept" same-sex marriage or abortion, although when asked if he would oppose legislation legalizing either of them, he referred only to abortion when saying that he would certainly oppose it. On 17 February 2013, President Correa was reelected by a wide margin. On 23 May 2013, Correa reiterated his opposition to same-sex marriage.
On 4 March 2016, the Provincial Government of Azuay unanimously approved an ordinance allowing symbolic same-sex marriages. The ordinance allowed same-sex couples to register their marriage with the Azuay Provincial Civil Registry, but the marriages were only symbolic, with no legal effect. The first symbolic same-sex marriage was held in late June 2016 in Cuenca.
Before the 2017 presidential election, Paco Moncayo, candidate for the Democratic Left, said there should be a national debate on the legalisation of same-sex marriage. The election was eventually won by Lenín Moreno, whose position on same-sex marriage was unknown, as he had refused to answer questions on the issue from activist Pamela Troya.
On 5 August 2013, LGBT rights groups launched a nationwide campaign under the name Matrimonio Civil Igualitario (Equal Civil Marriage), seeking to legalize same-sex marriage in the country. A marriage petition was launched by activist Pamela Troya and her partner at the Civil Registry of Quito. The petition was rejected days later, citing the country's Constitution and Civil Code. The couple announced on 8 August that they would file a lawsuit asking a judge to order the Civil Registry to marry them. The lawsuit was filed on 13 August 2013, for review by the Constitutional Court, and focused heavily on the Inter-American Court of Human Rights case of Atala Riffo and Daughters v. Chile, which held that sexual orientation is a suspect classification.
On 26 August 2013, a different couple went to the Guayaquil Civil Registry asking to be married. The couple, Santiago Vinces and Fernando Saltos, marched through the city to the Civil Registry with a convoy of activists and supporters, including actress Érika Vélez. Their marriage petition was denied three days later, citing the same reasons given to the first couple.
2018 Inter-American Court of Human Rights rulingEdit
On 8 January 2018, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) ruled that the American Convention on Human Rights mandates and requires the recognition of same-sex marriage. The ruling was fully binding on Costa Rica and set binding precedent in other Latin American and Caribbean countries, including Ecuador. LGBT advocacy groups in Ecuador urged the Government to abide by the ruling and legalise same-sex marriage.
June 2018 rulingsEdit
Following the IACHR ruling, two same-sex couples went to the Civil Registry in Cuenca to apply for marriage licenses. After both were rejected, they filed separate suits in court arguing that the refusal to recognise their marriage was discriminatory, unconstitutional and a violation of the American Convention on Human Rights. Citing the IACHR ruling, two family judges ruled in the couples' favour on 29 June 2018. The judges ordered the Civil Registry to immediately begin registering same-sex marriages, but the Civil Registry appealed against the decision. The two cases had the support of the Azuay Provincial Government. On 10 September 2018, the Labor Chamber of the Provincial Court of Justice overturned both decisions, stating that the issue of same-sex marriage should be handled by the National Assembly or the Constitutional Court.
Constitutional Court rulingEdit
On 28 July 2018, the president of the Constitutional Court, Alfredo Ruiz, said he believed that a majority of judges were in favour of legalizing same-sex marriage.
On 29 March 2019, a public hearing was held to determine whether the advisory opinion OC 24/7 issued by the IACHR on same-sex marriage was applicable to Ecuador, and whether it could be applied without an amendment to the Constitution, the Organic Law of Identity and Civil Data Management (Spanish: Ley Orgánica de Identidad y Gestión de Datos Civiles), and the Civil Code. The case was accepted by the Constitutional Court on 6 March 2019, following a request from the judges of the Criminal Chamber of the Provincial Court of Justice of Pichincha, regarding the case of the civil marriage of Efraín Soria and his partner Javier Benalcázar. The Constitutional Court had 45 days to issue a response and resolve the case.
A ruling in the cases was originally set for 4 June 2019, but was delayed as the judges were not able to reach a decision after several hours of discussion, and announced that they would continue to convene over the following days. The court issued two rulings on the matter, on 12 June 2019, both by a 5-4 margin, in favour of the plaintiffs, thus legalising same-sex marriage. In the first one, the court held that the IACHR January 2018 ruling is fully binding on Ecuador and takes precedence over Ecuadorian domestic law. In a second ruling, the Court re-wrote Article 81 of the country's Civil Code to read "Marriage is a solemn contract by which two persons join together with the end to live together and mutually help each other", as well as Article 52 of the Organic Law of Identity and Civil Data Management. The rulings are immediate and apply nationwide. The court ruled that Article 67 of the Constitution must be interpreted in the sense that most favors the full validity of rights. On 14 June, the President of the Constitutional Court, Hernán Salgado Pesantes, said in a press conference that a reform to the Constitution was not necessary, and that the Assembly should reform the secondary laws as soon as possible. The ruling also mandated that same-sex couples be allowed to marry in Ecuadorian consulates and other diplomatic offices worldwide, as long as one partner is a citizen of Ecuador. The rulings took effect upon publication in the Official Registry (Registro Oficial) on 8 July 2019.
Reaction to the ruling was mixed. Human rights groups and LGBT activists welcomed and celebrated the ruling, with Christian Paula of the Pakta Foundation, who had provided legal advice to several of the couples, saying that the ruling "implies that Ecuador is more egalitarian, more just than yesterday, and that it recognizes that human rights must fit all people without discrimination". In particular, LGBT activists noted that the wording used in the ruling would likely result in the legalisation of same-sex marriage in numerous other Latin American nations under the jurisdiction of the IACHR, even if they currently have a constitutional ban in place. The IACHR itself also welcomed the ruling. The Catholic Church expressed opposition to the ruling.
In a national broadcast aired on 20 June, President Lenín Moreno expressed his respect for the decision of the Constitutional Court, saying, "our duty, as citizens, and my own, as President, is to respect the decisions of all the functions and organs of the State. I maintain my absolute respect for what has been done by the Constitutional Court, which is composed of serious and honest judges."
According to the 2014 AmericasBarometer (published in June 2015), 16.5% of Ecuadorians were in favour of same-sex marriage.
The 2017 AmericasBarometer poll showed that 33% of Ecuadorians supported same-sex marriage.
A July 2019 survey conducted by the Vanderbilt University showed that 51.3% of the Ecuador public opposed same-sex marriage, 36.8% "strongly". The poll found a significant age gap; 68.5% of the Silent Generation were opposed, followed by 62.5% of Baby boomers, 54.1% of Generation X, 42% of Millennials and 16.7% of Generation Z.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Same-sex marriage in Ecuador.|
- In Quechua: Kawsankapa tinkunakuyka, shuk kari, shuk warmi mana sawarishka tantarishkallami tukun, shinapash shuk ayllumi wallparin; kayka shuk pachata, arinishkakuna ukupi, kamachiy shuk kutinlla nishkami kan. Shinapash sawarishpa ayllu wallparishkakunapak hayñikunata, mañayta charishkatami hapin. Shukpak wawata wakchushpa wiñachinaka shuk kari, shuk warmi sawarishka, tantarishkapakllami kanka.
In Shuar: Tsaniniamuka chikichkijiainkiti, ankant natsa ania, tuke nuatnaikia atiniaiti umitiai umpuarma tana aintsank, máshi nuatnaikiar matsatainia aintsank pujusartiniaiti. Uchirimmiaka nuájai aishmank uchinkia tsakátmartin Ainiawai.
- In Spanish: El matrimonio es la unión entre hombre y mujer, se fundará en el libre consentimiento de las personas contrayentes y en la igualdad de sus derechos, obligaciones y capacidad legal.
In Quechua: Sawarinaka shuk karintin, shuk warmintin tinkunakuymi kan, kayka sawarikkuna kishpiyrishka shunkumanta munaypi, paktapakta hayñipi, manunakuypi, yuyay huntashkapi tiksirishkami kanka.
In Shuar: Nuatnaiyamuka nuajai aishmankaiti, nii yajai pujustinia wakera nunisank atiniaiti métek nuniniak imiantrinkia ainiawai.
- (in Spanish) El Universo. “Los gays nos manejamos como familia”. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- (in Spanish) El Universo. Uniones homosexuales en el país son un hecho aun sin ley. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- (in Spanish) Nueva Constitución reconoce unión gay y lésbica Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- CONSTITUCIÓN DEL ECUADOR Archived 20 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- "Shutting Down Clinics that 'Cure Homosexuality' in Ecuador", The Human Rights Brief, Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, reported by Christina Fetterhoff, 28 November 2011
- Materville Studios – Host of Windy City Times. "Ecuadorean president supports same-sex partnerships". Windycitymediagroup.com. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
- (in Spanish) Presidente Correa: Ecuador es un estado laico que debe respetar todas las creencias. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- (in Spanish) Apoyo al matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo en América Latina Archived 6 July 2013 at WebCite. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- Ecuador Approves New Constitution Including Same-Sex Civil Unions. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- Ecuador's poor bank on referendum. Bbc.co.uk (27 September 2008). Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- "Ecuador's new constitution goes into effect". HighBeam Research. 20 October 2008. Archived from the original on 14 April 2017.
- "Uniones gays ya son legales". Vistazo.com. Archived from the original on 19 April 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- Jorge Alberto Chávez Reyes (20 September 2009). "Se realizó primera unión civil homosexual en Ecuador". Blogdelimagay.blogspot.com. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
- "Legalización de uniones homosexuales en Ecuador". Elsalvador.com. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
- "Doce parejas homosexuales legalizaron su unión de hecho en Ecuador". Sentidog.com. 2 July 2010. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- Dos Manzanas (16 September 2009). "Ecuador celebró la primera unión de hecho entre personas del mismo sexo, desatando la indignación de la iglesia católica". Dosmanzanas.com. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
- "Ecuador Llaktapak Mamakamachiy" (PDF). Universidad de Cuenca (in Quechua).
- Constitución del Ecuador - Versión Kichwa. Scribd
- Constitución de la República del Ecuador en Shuar
- "REGISTRO DE UNIONES DE HECHO". Ecuador ama la vida. 11 September 2014.
- Lavers, Michael K. (23 April 2015). "Ecuadorian lawmakers approve civil unions bill". Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights.
- "Ecuador reconoce la Unión de Hecho Homosexual como un estado civil" (in Spanish). ILGALAC. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
- "Nr 526" (PDF) (in Spanish). Asamblea Nacional. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
- "Reingreso de Venezuela a la jurisdicción de Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos". Exmanen ONU Venezuela (in Spanish). 3 June 2019.
- "Art. 67 Ecuador Constitution – 2008". Pdba.georgetown.edu. 11 July 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
- Lewis, Sophie (13 June 2019). "Ecuador's highest court legalizes same-sex marriage". CBS News.
- (in Spanish) El Universo. Hablan los Presidenciables: Alberto Acosta Archived 5 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
- (in Spanish) El Universo. Hablan los presidenciales: Norman Wray. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
- (in Spanish) El Universo. Hablan los Presidenciables: Rafael Correa. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
- Rafael Correa: "En Ecuador hay criminales que quieren recuperar el poder"
- Neuman, William (17 February 2013). "President Correa Handily Wins Re-election in Ecuador". The New York Times.
- (in Spanish) Correa descarta impulsar matrimonio gay en Ecuador en nuevo mandato
- "Bodas LGBTI en Azuay carecen de valor jurídico" (in Spanish). El Telégrafo. 8 March 2016.
- "This province in Ecuador has just passed 'symbolic gay marriage'". Gay Star News. 6 March 2016.
- "Prefectura de Azuay aprueba matrimonio simbólico GLBTI" (in Spanish). El Universo. 4 March 2016.
- (in Spanish) Primera boda simbólica GLBTI se dio en Azuay
- (in Spanish) El amplio diálogo que plantea Paco Moncayo sobre el matrimonio igualitario
- (in Spanish) Las razones por las que el matrimonio gay fue la "papa caliente" de los candidatos
- (in Spanish) Hoy. La campaña por el matrimonio igualitario arrancó Archived 3 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- (in Spanish) El Telégrafo. Lesbianas buscan hoy contraer matrimonio civil. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- (in Spanish) El Universo. Dos mujeres tramitan su matrimonio. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- (in Spanish) Hoy. La lucha por el matrimonio civil igualitario continúa Archived 3 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- (in Spanish) La Hora. Pamela Troya: ‘Así tenga 80 años me casaré’. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- (in Spanish) El Comercio. Pamela Troya y Gabriela Correa presentarán una acción de protección. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- (in Spanish) El Telégrafo. Pareja de lesbianas presenta hoy una acción de protección. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- (in Spanish) El Universo. Lesbianas critican demora en justicia. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- (in Spanish) El Comercio. Una segunda pareja homosexual intentará pedir solicitud de matrimonio en el Registro Civil. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- (in Spanish) El Comercio. Primer matrimonio gay se celebraría mañana en Guayaquil. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- (in Spanish) La Hora. Matrimonio homosexual: pedido fue receptado ayer. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- (in Spanish) El Telégrafo. Pareja homosexual presentó solicitud para contraer matrimonio. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- (in Spanish) El Universo. Pareja de gays pidió turno para casarse en el Registro Civil. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- (in Spanish) Hoy. Un intento de matrimonio de homosexuales en Guayaquil Archived 3 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- (in Spanish) El Comercio. Registro Civil dice que pareja gay no cumple requisitos para casarse. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- (in Spanish) El Universo. Registro Civil negó matrimonio a gays. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- CORTE INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS. "OPINIÓN CONSULTIVA OC-24/17" (PDF). CORTE INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS.
- "Inter-American Court endorses same-sex marriage". Agence France-Presse. Yahoo7. 9 January 2018. Archived from the original on 9 January 2018. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
- Latin America countries urged to abide by landmark LGBT rights ruling The Washington Blade, 15 January 2018
- Ecuador court rules in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples, ThinkProgress, 5 July 2018
- In historic move, court rules Ecuador's same-sex marriage ban is illegal, Gay Star News, 4 July 2018
- Boda LGBTI espera sentencia
- Corte de Justicia rechaza matrimonio igualitario
- (in Spanish) Unión gay sería reconocida por Corte Constitucional
- "Colectivo GLBTI pide matrimonio civil igualitario". El Telégrafo (in Spanish). 30 March 2019.
- "Argumentos en contra y a favor del matrimonio igualitario se escucharon en la Corte Constitucional". El Comercio (in Spanish). 29 March 2019.
- Martinez, Andrea (29 March 2019). "Corte Constitucional instala audiencia sobre matrimonio igualitario en Ecuador". Metro Ecuador (in Spanish).
- "Otra consulta sobre matrimonio igualitario trató la Corte Constitucional". El Comercio (in Spanish). 20 May 2019.
- "Se Realizó Nueva Audiencia Sobre Matrimonio Igualitario". Vistazo (in Spanish). 20 May 2019.
- Rosero, Mariela (30 May 2019). "La Corte Constitucional resolverá consulta sobre matrimonio igualitario el 4 de junio de 2019". El Comercio (in Spanish).
- Crittenton, Anya (4 June 2019). "Ecuador high court delays ruling on same-sex marriage". Gay Star News.
- "Corte Constitucional de Ecuador aplaza decisión sobre matrimonio igualitario". telesur (in Spanish). 4 June 2019.
- Fox, Kara; Melgar Zuniga, Ana. "Ecuador's highest court legalizes same-sex marriage". CNN. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
- "Corte Constitucional aprueba matrimonio civil igualitario en Ecuador" (in Spanish). El Comercio. 12 June 2019. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
- "CASONo.11-18-CN (matrimonioigualitario)" (PDF). Constitutional Court of Ecuador (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 May 2019.
- "CASONo.10-18-CN (Matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo)" (PDF). Constitutional Court of Ecuador (in Spanish). Retrieved 26 June 2019.
- Juez de CC señala que los ciudadanos pueden reunir los requisitos para que se realice una consulta popular
- "Registro Oficial publica sentencias que reconocen el derecho al matrimonio civil igualitario en Ecuador" (in Spanish). El Comercio. 8 July 2019. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
- "Publicado en el Registro Oficial el fallo de la Corte Constitucional sobre matrimonio igualitario" (in Spanish). Metro Ecuador. 9 July 2019. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
- "La CIDH saluda aprobación del matrimonio civil igualitario en Ecuador, un paso contra la discriminación". El Comercio (in Spanish). 17 June 2019.
- "Iglesia católica de Ecuador rechaza matrimonio igualitario". El Universo (in Spanish). 13 June 2019.
- "Moreno respeta decisión de la CC sobre matrimonio igualitario". El Telégrafo (in Spanish). 20 June 2019.
- "Matrimonio igualitario: Primera pareja LGBTI se casa en Ecuador". Metro Ecuador (in Spanish). 18 July 2019.
- Religion in Latin America Chapter 5: Social Attitudes
- Religion in Latin America Appendix A: Methodology
- AmericasBarometer: Topical Brief – 2 June 2015
- (in Spanish) CULTURA POLÍTICA DE LA DEMOCRACIA EN LA REPÚBLICA DOMINICANA Y EN LAS AMÉRICAS, 2016/17
- "El 51,3% de los ecuatorianos desaprueba el matrimonio igualitario, según encuesta". El Mercurio (in Spanish). 24 July 2019.
- "CASO No. 11-18-CN (matrimonio igualitario)" (PDF) (in Spanish). Constitutional Court of Ecuador. 12 June 2019.