Twenty countries are accepting the Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ directive to recognize same-sex “marriage” and provide “transgender” rights, even though the international court’s decision is not binding. The court gave its mandate after Costa Rican officials asked for clarification on the process for legally changing the name of a person who is confused about his or her biological sex and the rights to property of homosexual partners. The 20 countries who accepted the directive are Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, and Uruguay.
Gualberto Garcia Jones, executive director of International Human Rights Group, believes the Inter-American Court of Human Rights overstepped the rules for international treaties and national constitutions in order to implement its opinion. Judge Eduardo Vio Grossi, who partially dissented, wrote, “Legislation recognizing same-sex unions cannot be imposed upon member states through the judicial process, much less so through an advisory opinion, which is not binding even on the party requesting the opinion, and much less upon the other member states.”
In 2017, 700 legislators from countries making up the Organization of American States signed the Mexico City Declaration, which calls for an end to the international court’s activism. It remains to be seen whether the impacted countries will reject the court’s activism or whether the Inter-American Court will gain more power.
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