Starting on September 15, couples from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersexual (LGBTI) community will be able to register their domestic partnership with the Civil Registry.
Published on Aug. 22, Resolution 0174 of the Civil Registry, Identification and Certification Directorate recognizes the constitutional definition of a civil union as “the stable and monogamous union between two individuals that are free from the marriage bond and that form a domestic partnership.” This union has the same rights and obligations as a civil marriage when it comes to “personal and inheritance effects that this union generates.”
Additionally, the resolution orders the annulment of a 2010 order that banned registering a common-law marriage under marital status and including it in the identity documents.
While the resolution does not mention it specifically, President Rafael Correa specified that the LGBTI community has the right to register common-law marriages and to have that marital status appear in their identifications.
“It is a right to register a common-law marriage among heterosexuals or individuals of the same sex,” said Correa during his weekly briefing on August 23. “This is a constitutional right and, if it is denied, we the authorities will take action.”
However, Correa, a practicing Roman Catholic, has stated that he is against marriage between individuals of the same sex as well as homosexual couples adopting children.
“I don’t agree with same-sex couples adopting children because I think nature must be right in some way and that children should be in a traditional family,” said the leader in an interview on May 2013.
Although the Constitution allows common-law marriages and an opportunity is presented to legalize those unions entered into by LGBTI couples, it also establishes that “marriage is a union between a man and a woman” and that “adoption will be granted only to heterosexual couples.”
Bernarda Freire, from the Equal Rights Now Collective and one of the authors of the “Report on the situation regarding the human rights of the LGBTI Communities in 2013”, pointed out that “is not the equal marriage for which we have been fighting, but it is an important step” for the lives of people of sexual diversity.
“They are not asking for the LGBTI to have additional rights but rather that they have the same rights as any other heterosexual couple,” said Carlos Álvarez, the LGBTI Observatory of Ecuador representative, quoted by the media.
According to Álvarez, the registering of common-law marriages will help LGBTI couples “in regards to inheritance issues, medical aspects, because they can take decisions for their partner in case of sickness. There were cases when a member of the couple died, the survivor was left defenseless against their civil rights.”
Freire emphasized to the Ecuadorian daily El Comercio that another advantage is that there would now be statistics available on the common-law marriages of the LGBTI community.
“This is important for the social visibility of the community and for the entire society to understand that we exist, we are here and we want to marry, but that we have no other option but a common-law marriage,” she commented.
Diane Rodríguez, president of the Silueta X association, which is composed of young transgender and transsexual men and women and intersexuals, hailed “the political will” of the government to approve the civil union that includes LGBTI couples. However, she considers that it is urgent to “guarantee the constitutional rights that are not currently applied to the Ecuadorian LGBTI community, such as the elimination of workplace and educational discrimination.”
“We LGBTI need health, education, employment and justice,” she added. “The issues of common-law unions, marriages and adoption are very controversial because we live in a very conservative culture.”
Source: Latinamerica Press: http://www.lapress.org/articles.asp?art=7065
Photo: LGBTI community right to register their domestic partnership with Ecuadorean Civil Registry (paiscanela)
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