Costa Rica becomes the first Central American country to legalize same-sex marriage

Alexandra Quiros (center) and Dunia Araya (right) stand before a lawyer during their wedding in Heredia.

(CNN)Marriage equality is now law in Costa Rica.

The country on Tuesday became the first in Central America to legally recognize same-sex marriage.
"Today, Costa Rica officially recognizes same-sex marriage," President Carlos Alvarado Quesada wrote on Twitter.
    "Today we celebrate liberty, equality and our democratic institutions. May empathy and love be the compass that guide us forward and allow us to move forward and build a country that has room for everyone."
    Alexandra Quiros and Dunia Araya kiss during their wedding Tuesday in Costa Rica.
    The move to marriage equality follows an August 2018 ruling by the country's Constitutional Court, which ruled that laws preventing same-sex marriage were unconstitutional.
    The court gave the legislature 18 months to enact marriage equality, or have the ruling recognizing same-sex marriages automatically go into effect once the deadline expired.
    Costa Rica's decision also follows an opinion issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in January 2018. The Central American country had asked the court to determine whether it was obligated to extend property rights to same-sex couples.
    After Costa Rica officially recognized same-sex marriage, couples held weddings overnight.