At Pride 2016, we ask: How far has Costa Rica come on LGBT rights?

June 27, 2016

Wrapped in rainbow flags and covered in face paint, thousands of Costa Ricans marched down Paseo Colón Sunday in the country’s annual pride parade, La Marcha de la Diversidad. LGBT activists have had much to celebrate in recent years following the passage of anti-discrimination policies and the extension of healthcare benefits to same-sex partners.

But some say progress has stagnated. A bill to legalize same-sex marriage that was introduced last year has stalled in the Legislative Assembly.

At the parade, The Tico Times asked participants what they thought about Costa Rica’s progress on LGBT rights. Here are some of their answers:

Lenin Fernández, 34: To me, there is still a lot we have left to accomplish. Yes, we have accomplished some very important things. We can get healthcare for our partners now, extend our pensions to them, but we still have a long way to go.

There are more things moving to the forefront now and we are advancing little by little. Someday, God will grant us these rights. But for now, we are here. We aren’t hiding. We are proud.

We want people to see who we are, that we are people too and that we will keep fighting.

Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times
A man holds a rainbow flag during in San José on June 26, 2016 for Costa Rica's annual Marcha de Diversidad. Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times

Carolina Durán, 25: Things are starting to get more inclusive. Even people who are very tied to their religion are starting to be more accepting. We are moving in small steps, but we are moving forward.

Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times
Rainbow balloons fly over San José on June 26, 2016 during Costa Rica's annual Marcha de la Diversidad. Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times

Marisol Mayorga, 43: We are going very slowly. We have accomplished very little at this point. We want marriage equality, we want everything that other families have.

Despite that, I think that between now and 2020 we will all finally be equal.

Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times
Marchers on Paseo Colón celebrated diversity during Costa Rica's annual LBGT pride parade, June 26, 2016. Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times
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