Costa Rica votes for a new president
SAN JOSE: Costa Ricans vote for a new president on Sunday in a race upended in the final weeks by a debate over same-sex marriage, as leading candidates in the crowded field fiercely opposed gay rights that have recently been expanding in Latin America. Conservative Christian singer and TV personality Fabricio Alvarado skyrocketed to the top of the 13-person field after speaking out against a January ruling by the region's top human rights court calling on Costa Rica to give equal civil marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples. If no candidate wins at least 40 percent of Sunday's vote, a run-off election with the top two finishers is set for early April. The 43-year-old Alvarado, a congressman with the National Restoration Party, has called the ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights a violation of the country's sovereignty.