Bolivia recognized Friday for the first time in its history a civil union between two people of the same sex, after a long legal battle waged by a couple of men of 45 and 48 years. The Civil Status Service of Bolivia (Sereci) registered “the free union between David Victor Aruquipa Perez and Guido Alvaro Montaño Duran”, canceling its previous provision made in 2018, said the Ombudsman, Nadia Cruz.
This recognition is the result of a long legal battle started by the two men two years ago. The Sereci then refused the couple’s request to register their de facto union for eleven years, arguing that Bolivian law did not contemplate unions of couples of the same sex. The Civil Status Service then took refuge behind article 63 of the Bolivian Constitution, which describes marriage as a link between a woman and a man and specifies that “free and de facto unions (…) can exist between a woman and a man without legal restriction and produce the same effects as a civil marriage ”.
“It’s a historical fact”
The two turned to the Constitutional Court, which recalled the 2017 Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Cidh) ruling stating that “states have an obligation to recognize same-sex family ties. and protect them ”. “This is a historical fact”, enthusiastically David Aruquipa, company director, during a press conference, even if much remains to be done for this recognition of same-sex couples to become effective in the country.
“This precedent reinforces the principle of equality before the law and will allow this couple and other same-sex couples to exercise their rights without discrimination,” wrote the Ombudsman in a statement. The LGTBI organizations of the Andean country were delighted that this constitutional decision “places Bolivia on the path of greater respect for the rights of diversity, of a brake on discrimination and of equality between all the inhabitants of the country. “.
MP Samantha Nogales, from the right-wing Creemos party, said it was “fundamental to understand that human rights advance and that, in this specific case, Bolivians are all equal before the law”.