Word of the week: “Differente” or “Different”
In a country where religion is historically written into the constitution, I feel this was a relevant topic for the week. There is no real separation of church and state in many of the laws and unspoken rules that are implemented here. In fact, did you know that same-sex couples are still not able to marry? Current president Carlos A. Quesada, elected in May 2018 is working to change this by mid-2020. Nearby Latin American countries with similar catholic-based traditions/beliefs such as Colombia and Argentina have already begun to implement changes in their same-sex marriage laws. Interestingly, much less than half of Costa Rica’s population was NOT in favor of the potential change. Many lawmakers here in Costa Rica are long time evangelists, making it fairly difficult to implement a change that does not correlate with their beliefs. However, according to locals the change over the years has made strides in the right direction. Publicly it is not widely accepted, but in metropolitan areas such as San Jose, there will be a much greater occurrence of couples publicly displaying affection. In fact, President Quesasada’s Citizen Action Party contained one of the first openly gay legislators. Aside from politics, there are many public places for these individuals who may have different sexual preferences to convene without having to feel threatened by the law or society around them.
After living here for now over one month, I now can attest to the conservative socialism here in Costa Rica. Change is difficult in a country where religion is considered the foundation of all principles. In comparison to America, there is no official religion declared in our constitution. Thus, the way we run our political decisions on touchy topics such as gay marriage, abortion, etc. is just slightly different. United we may stand, but divided indeed we do fall. However, it seems we are not the only ones…