Last January, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued a marriage-equality ruling that effectively brought marriage equality to 20 Latin American countries in a single swoop .The catch was that the countries have to change their laws themselves. Now that process is well underway, with a lot of bright spots and the occasional expected backlash. Here’s a rundown of how some countries are dealing with the movement toward change.
Panama. Although Panama had said that it would comply with the Inter-American court ruling, a Supreme Court judge had drafted a ruling last October againt marriage equality in an unrelated case. But the judge has since withdrawn the ruling, a sign that the Panamanian judiciary is not going to challenge the Inter-American ruling as merely advisory. That hasn’t stopped religious conservatives from organizing against the change. A coalition of religious groups is planning a demonstration to protest changes to the “original design” of the family.
Chile. As a result of last fall’s elections, a majority of Chile’s Congress will be in support of a marriage bill when the new session convenes next week. Apokesperson for incoming president Sebastián Piñera has said that the new adminstration will not prioritize passage of a marriage equality law, leaving it in the hands of the lawmakers. Even before the Janauary Inter-American Court ruling, Chile was required to legalize marriage equality as a result of a separate settlement with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.