In a stunning turn of events, Ecuador’s Supreme Court has ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, in a historic victory for the nation and the region as a whole. Ecuador Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage, but who is next?
In the landmark decision, Quito’s constitutional court decided in favor of marriage equality in a vote of 5 to 4 in favor. This symbolizes a radical change in the traditionally Catholic-majority country.
Ecuador’s Decision for Marriage Equality
June 19th’s ruling comes after a case against the current law which excludes same-sex couples. The case argues that the current marriage law was discriminatory to LGBTQ couples and therefore unconstitutional.
The decision requires the Ecuadorian National Assembly to change the current laws to include same-sex couples. Although, same-sex marriage is set to begin within 10 days after Wednesday’s Ruling.
This makes Ecuador the 5th country in South America to legalize same-sex marriage following Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Colombia respectively.
More Countries Soon to Follow
Last year, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR), a multi-national court affecting much of Central and South America decided in favor of same-sex marriage in the American Convention on Human Rights.
This sweeping human rights ruling requires the participating countries to legalize same-sex marriage in a “binding precedent”.
In South America, this includes countries such as Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, and Suriname.
The ruling also extends to many countries in Central America and the Caribbean. These include Barbados, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.
Ecuador marks the first of these countries in South America to comply with the IACHR ruling. Many of the other affected countries are soon to follow.
Who is Next in Line?
Chile is likely next in line, as the country already grants some rights to same-sex couples in the form of civil unions, and support for marriage equality hovering at about 65% as of 2018.
Even in countries like these where support is low, there is still hope. Consider that Ecuador had a meager 33% of its citizens in support of marriage equality only 2 years ago.
As public opinion slowly shifts and the courts of these affected countries slowly come in line with other countries in the area. South America could soon see near full marriage equality throughout.