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A gay couple hold hands during their symbolic wedding ceremony. (Photo: Reuters)

A gay couple hold hands during their symbolic wedding ceremony. (Photo: Reuters)

LGBTI people gains more legal recognition, however the state will not approve same-sex marriage.

Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa said on Saturday that several agreements were reached during the meeting with the LGBTI (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex) community held on August 18, including the official recognition of same-sex unions.

"The LGBT community have the constitutional right to register on their union," Correa said during his weekly report.

Previously, the Ecuadoran Civil Registry did not recognize these unions because they had no legal status according to law, however Correa said that from now on this right has to be respected and if denied, the authorities will take action on the matter.

However, Correa said that although he supports these unions, he don't support gay marriage, which according to him corresponds to the union between a man and a woman. But he said he is committed to guarantee the rights of all Ecuadorans.

Correa, a Catholic leftist, has expressed his opposition to same-sex marriage and adoption of children by gay couples in previous occasions.

The Ecuadoran Constitution grants equal rights to "cohabitation partnerships" regardless if they are civil or Catholic marriages, so the LGBT community gains more legal recognition with this legislation.

Article 67 of the Constitution provides that "marriage is the union between man and woman." The article also states that adoption is only granted to heterosexual couples. 

In August 2013, a lesbian couple launched the campaign "Civil Equal Marriage: the same rights with the same names" which sought to legalize gay marriage in Ecuador, which have already been approved in Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.

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