Ecuador to grant same-sex unions ID recognition

President Rafael Correa said Saturday that people in same-sex civil unions now can include their status on national ID cards in Ecuador, where gay marriage is illegal.

"Gays, lesbians, transgender and transsexual people have the full constitutional right to include their civil union on their ID cards," said Correa, a leftist and economist by training.

Until now, only heterosexual marriages could be listed on the identification document.

"If there was any doubt about heterosexual or same-sex civil unions being put on national ID cards, there is none any more," said the president, who stressed it did not mean same-sex marriage was legal.

"I have never offered to support" same-sex marriage in mostly Roman Catholic Ecuador, as gay rights groups have sought, said Correa, a Catholic himself.

The South American country's constitution currently says marriage is only between a man and a woman, and that only heterosexual couples may adopt.