Supreme Court decision condemned by Human Rights body.

654Views 0Comments Posted 24/03/2023

The IACHR called on all the States of the region to reform and harmonize their internal legislation to guarantee same-sex couples the same rights and regrets the decision of the Supreme Court of  Panama  (CSJ) that does not recognize the right to civil marriage between people of the same sex and urged the Panamanian State to guarantee the right to equality and not discriminate against diverse families in accordance with inter-American standards.

This was reported on Friday, March 24, in a statement in Washington,  by the advisory body of the Organization of American States (OAS), created to promote the observance and defense of human rights.

In a majority ruling (8 to 1) on March 16, 2023, the CSJ declared that the phrases "between a man and a woman" and "persons of the same sex" contained in the Family Code are not unconstitutional.

According to the IACHR, the decision negatively impacts the principle of equality and non-discrimination by excluding the possibility of same-sex marriages and the recognition of those celebrated abroad.

Autonomous body

The IACHR is a principal and autonomous body of the OAS, whose mandate stems from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights, both documents signed and ratified by Panama.

The IACHR reminds the Panamanian State that, in accordance with Advisory Opinion 24-17 of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Court-IDH), the rights guaranteed to opposite-sex couples must also be extended and recognized to those made up of persons of the same sex, in the understanding that both family life and the right to marry are rights linked to the principle of dignity and free autonomy of people, as well as the right to form their life project without abusive interference from the State.

In the ruling of the CSJ, with the exception of the opinion of judge Ángela Russo de Cedeño, the judges conclude that the defendant norms that prohibit people from marrying the same sex "are objectively and reasonably justified in the general interest to give precedence to those unions with the potential to establish families, give continuity to the human species and, therefore, to society”.