A recent ruling by a judge in Goicoechea to recognize the first same-sex common-law marriage in Costa Rica’s history was just in time for a Father’s Day commercial that prominently shows a gay couple.
The commercial, “Families in all their forms,” focuses on a father and his son opening a bag of Pozuelo-brand “Familia” cookies. As the dad explains that there are different kinds of families, the commercial follows an older couple without children – a gay couple – and a stay-at-home dad.
The commercial concludes with the words, “When there’s love, there’s family.”
Ana Isabel Sanz, regional marketing director for Pozuelo, told the daily La Nación that the company was not looking to challenge the traditional idea of the family. Instead, Sanz said that the company wanted their publicity to reflect the new kinds of families in Costa Rica, 60 percent of which don’t fit the old father-mother-kid mold.
Viewers on YouTube agreed.
“A woman who leaves to work while her husband cares for the kids, a single parent family, one of the same sex. That is the reality of the Costa Rican family, so what’s the point of feeling offended? Love, admiration and respect come in many forms. Let’s be more tolerant,” wrote one commenter, Warner Cubero, on the commercial’s YouTube page.
Costa Rica enjoys relative tolerance for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people compared to other Central American countries, experts say. Vice President Ana Helena Chacón raised the LGBT rainbow flag over Casa Presidencial and same-sex couples can sponsor their partners for insurance with the Costa Rican Social Security System,known as the Caja.
According to a survey from the Center for Research and Promotion of Human Rights in Central America, almost 50 percent of Costa Ricans supported adoption rights for LGBT people, and 69.2 percent supported legally recognized same-sex relationships.
Update 3:00 p.m. Friday:
Friday morning, Channel 7 TV News, Telenoticias, aired the Pozuelo commercial during its noon broadcast. The move triggered some on social media to call for a boycott of the station because of their supposed support for non-traditional families.
— Maria Mas (@mariaamas) June 12, 2015
“I don’t watch Telenoticias because it goes against the natural family and my morality,” tweeted this user.
But if the station’s decision to broadcast lead some to call for a boycott, others were inspired to answer with their own social media campaign in support of the ad.