The first same-sex weddings have taken place in Costa Rica, the first Central American country to equalise its marriage legislation. A lesbian couple became the first to tie the knot in a ceremony that took place just after the new law came into effect at midnight. President Carlos Alvarado said the law change meant Costa Rica now recognised the rights lesbian and gay people had always deserved. He tweeted in Spanish that " empathy and love should from now on be the guiding principles which will allow us to move forward and build a country where there is room for everyone". The first same-sex marriage ceremony was broadcast as the culmination of a three-hour programme celebrating marriage equality. Marriage equality came about after the constitutional court declared in August that a ban on same-sex weddings was unconstitutional and discriminatory.