Ecuador joins other Latin American countries such as Argentina, Brazil and Colombia in legalizing same-sex marriage.
Equal marriage was approved in the South American country on Wednesday in a historic step by the country's Constitutional Court.
"It means that Ecuador is more egalitarian. It recognizes that human rights should be for all people without discrimination,”said Christian Paula, lawyer for the Patka Foundation for the rights of the LGBTQ community.
The decision came after the judges voted five to four in favor of the approval.
The arguments against focused on having to debate the process in the National Assembly before changing the current legislation.
However, Gustavo Medina, former president of the Supreme Court, said that the authorities were obliged to accept the conclusions of the Constitutional Court because they were "obligatory".
The process started when two couples filed a lawsuit because they wanted to get married. Among them, Efrain Soria and Xavier Benalcazar, who have been in free union for the last seven years.
Free unions get fewer rights than married people, but now, thanks to the change in laws, same-sex ties will be entitled to the same inheritance and property benefits as heterosexual marriages.
At a press conference after his victory, Efrain Soria said:
“Enjoy the happiness that comes from being the same, like anyone else. It is a joy for our entire community and for Ecuador,”said Soria, who heads the Equity Foundation in Ecuador.