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Costa Rica to allow gay couples to share benefits

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica--Costa Rica's social security administration has agreed to allow same-sex couples to share health and pension benefits, even though the conservative Central American country bans gay marriage.

The decision, announced Thursday by the agency, comes in response to a long-standing demand from the gay rights movement in the religious country.

Centrist President Luis Guillermo Solis — elected at the beginning of April — cheered the decision.

“Costa Rica woke up to good news,” Solis wrote Friday on a social network.

“I feel very satisfied with the decision by social security to authorize the enrollment of same-sex couples and the fundamental right to access at the hospital.”

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