Same-sex marriage a key issue as Costa Ricans elect leader

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — Costa Ricans voted Sunday in a presidential race shaken by an international court ruling saying the country should let same-sex couples get married.

Evangelical candidate Fabricio Alvarado recently vaulted into first place in the polls after he took a strong stance against gay marriage, which about two-thirds of Costa Ricans also oppose.

His closest rivals are agri-businessman Antonio Alvarez of the opposition National Liberation Party and Carlos Alvarado of the governing Citizens’ Action Party.

But the outlook was cloudy because none of 13 candidates were polling at more than 17 percent and surveys indicated that more than a third of likely voters were undecided.If no candidate reaches 40 percent, the top two finishers advance to an April 1 runoff.