The decision came after a long legal battle by several couples and gay rights advocates seeking to expand LGBT+ rights in the Andean nation. One of the couples described the decision as "a joy for our entire community and Ecuador."
Constitutional Court rulings are binding and mandatory for Ecuadorean authorities.
Lawyer Christian Paula who represents about 10 same-sex couples seeking to marry said: "It means that Ecuador is more egalitarian, it is more just than yesterday, that it recognizes that human rights must be for all people without discrimination."
Latin American trendThe ruling follows a decision by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights affirming that countries should allow same-sex couples the right to marry.
Ecuador's ombudsman welcomed the decision saying it "reclaims opportunities for vulnerable groups who have been discriminated against."
He added that Ecuador has become "the fifth South American country in which two people of the same sex can access the rights and obligations of a civil marriage." Same-sex marriage is also legally recognized in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Colombia.
Recognition of de-facto civil unions for same-sex couples have been recognized in Ecuador since 2015.
jm/sms (EFE, AFP)
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