Ecuador’s highest court voted 5-4 to legalize same-sex marriage.
“I’m very emotional. I almost don’t have the words.” Ecuadoria Equality Foundation Director Efraín Soria stated. “It’s a historic day for Ecuador, that the court finally has given its proper view that marriages between people of the same sex can be celebrated. It’s impressive. We’re very grateful.”
Soria filed a lawsuit with other LGBTQ+ rights advocates after his request to marry his partner was denied by a civil court. The couple is now reportedly planning a wedding after being in a civil union since 2012.
“Above all, we’re happy because it has given us back our human dignity,” he said.
Civil unions have same-sex couples have been recognized since 2008, but they don’t provide the same inheritance and estate rights as marriage.
Ecuador joins a wave of countries in South America to recognize same-sex marriage over the last decade, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Uruguay.
“I think that today is a day to celebrate,” local resident Stephanie Bonilla stated. “It’s a ruling that was made in honor of, in memory of, all those who dedicated their lives for the respect for love, the respect for human rights, because human rights are also for the LGBTI community.”