Latin America: the LGBTI community still has a long way to go

Although some governments have passed laws in favor of LGBTI rights, this community faces discrimination daily 

Latin America: the LGBTI community

In several countries of the world homosexuality is a topic that is no longer discussed, because rights to the LGBTI community were granted years ago. However, being homosexual in Latin America is just beginning to normalize and the LGBTI community has only recently begun fighting for its rights with laws that protect them from discrimination, laws of union, and other legal efforts.

Argentina is the first country in the region to authorize gay marriage. Argentines can marry and enforce all their rights from 2010. This country has become the only one in the world where anyone, whether passing by or staying, can get married regardless of their sexual orientation.

The situation in Chile is widely accepted at the society level, especially by the young adult sector of the population. Although there is still no law that authorizes gay marriage, the President has stated her position in a law that guarantees equal marriage and also allows adoption.

The situation in Colombia allows the de facto marital union, property rights and access to the spouse's pension. However, they still can not access adoption. Colombian society accepts and respects the rights of individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation.

Costa Rica is one of the least friendly countries with the gay community in the region. That was enacted an executive decree in 2015 to eliminate the discrimination suffered by "sexually diverse" people. However the right to legal recognition of gender is still pending.

The case in Brazil is much more delicate because, although it is the third Latin American country in which legislation supports the union of persons of the same sex, the rate of crimes for homophobia is very high. However, according to figures from the Brazilian civil registry, in 2015 homosexual marriage exceeded 5 times the heterosexual.

Law against hate crimes and discrimination based on sexual orientation

In Peru the law against hate crimes, although necessary, had many disadvantages and was rejected on several occasions. It was not until the beginning of 2017 that the norm was amended to include sexual orientation and gender identity as aggravating factors in discrimination crimes. The law strengthens the fight against feminicide, family violence and gender violence. 

More and less friendly countries

According to a study carried out by Transgender Europe, the most friendly countries in Latin America are: Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, and Mexico, while the least tolerant are Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Paraguay. Activism in Latin America is becoming stronger, marches are organized and solidarity with the community more consistently.

The friendliest countries in Latin America are Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, and Mexico

Also, the LGBTI community has begun to look for more and more political representation in Latin American countries. For instance, in Colombia, Claudia López looks to be the first female and openly homosexual president by 2018.


Latin American Post | Daniella Páez Otey

Copy edited by Laura Rocha Rueda


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