David Aruquipa and Guido Montano, a gay couple, wanted to get married but were refused by the civil registry office in La Paz in October 2018.
Bolivia doesn’t allow same-sex couples to marry. It bans it in the constitution.
But the couple has suffered a lot of discrimination in recent years.
The worst experience occurred the day David needed emergency surgery and Guido could not sign the documents allowing the surgery because the hospital did not recognize him as a spouse aka a family member.
They had to wait a whole day for another family member to come to the hospital and fill out the relevant documents.
So the couple took their civil partnership denial case to Bolivia’s Plurinational Constitutional Court, citing an Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling that calls on countries “to recognize and protect the familial relationships of same-sex couples.”
Bolivia has done nothing so far.
However, the good news arrived a few days ago: Bolivia’s Constitutional Court ruled in favor of the couple, explaining that international laws take precedence over national laws.
As a result, it officially recognized the relationship of this gay couple, creating a precedent that will surely be used by other same-sex couples.
This could ultimately push legislators to finally take action to legalize marriage equality in the country.
“What we have accomplished is a first step toward a day when the entirety of Bolivia’s diversity will be reflected,” said Aruquipa.
I hope Bolivia will soon join Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay, and some parts of Mexico that have opened marriage to same-sex couples in recent years.