Spanish version

OPINIÓN

Vice president supports same sex marraige

The issue must be decided by the Supreme Court.

Spanish version

Temas:

Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado. Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado.
Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado. Gabriel Rodríguez

Vice President Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado used her Twitter account today to show support for unions of same-sex couples in Panama.

"We should all have the option of joining our lives to a loved one. Sexual orientation is not chosen, it is something you are born with," she said in response to a message. 

A warning of unconstitutionality against several articles of the Panama Family Code and a section of Law 61 of 2015 was recently introduced in the Supreme Court seeking to legalize equal marriage in Panama. 

The notice of unconstitutionality was presented by the firm Morgan and Morgan, representing its client Álvaro José López Levy, and was admitted to the court on March 24. 

According to the public archives of the Court, the appeal seeks to declare unconstitutional the sentences contained in article 26 of the Family Code where it is defined that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. 

The document also seeks to declare unconstitutional paragraph 1 of article 34 of this same code that talks about the inability of two persons of the same sex to marry. 

The third objective of this lawsuit is to declare unconstitutional Article 35 of Law 61 of 2015 on the Code of Private International Law of Panama that prohibits the marriage of persons of the same sex. 

The case has been assigned to Judge Abel Zamorano. 

This is the second legal recourse presented in the Supreme Court that would seek the legalization of equal marriage in Panama. 

In October 2016, Morgan and Morgan filed a warning of unconstitutionality against the article of the Family Code that limits marriage to an act "between a man and a woman." 

The suit, filed by attorney Carlos Ernesto González, is on behalf of Enrique Jelenszky and his partner John Winstanley. 

Jelenszky, a Panamanian lawyer, and Winstanley, a British executive, held a civil union in May 2008 at the British Embassy in Panama. 

Eight years later, and in accordance with the law of marriages of the United Kingdom, this union became a legal marriage. 

This year, Jelenszky asked the Civil Registry of Panama to register his civil status, using the same procedure as the hundreds of Panamanians who register marriages contracted under another jurisdiction each year. That petition was rejected in September. 

With information from Rita Vásquez

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