Costa Rica vote halts march of religious conservatism

Source: Reuters

SAN JOSE (Reuters) – The resounding victory of a pro-gay marriage candidate in Costa Rica’s presidential run-off vote on Sunday staved off a resurgent Christian evangelical movement that proved unable to translate strong social conservatism into a win.

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Costa Rica’s president-elect Carlos Alvarado Quesada greets the media outside his house in San Jose, Costa Rica April 2, 2018. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas

Gay rights have expanded across Latin America in recent years, especially in South America, though many advocates feared there could be a backlash from practicing Christians energized by growing evangelical Protestantism.

The election campaign was dominated by opposition candidate and evangelical Fabricio Alvarado Munoz’s forthright criticism of gay marriage. Weeks of polling had suggested the election was either too close to call, or leaning in his favor.

In the end, the center-left candidate of the ruling party, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, triumphed by a 20-point margin.

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