LGBT rights in Ecuador

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LGBT rights in Ecuador
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal since 1997
Gender identity/expression -
Recognition of
Same-sex couples have right to civil unions pursuant to 2008 constitution
Constitution defines marriage as man/woman
Adoption No joint adoption by same-sex couples
Military service -
Discrimination protections Sexual orientation protection (see below)

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Ecuador may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is legal in Ecuador, but same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for all of the same legal protections available to opposite-sex married couples.

Laws against homosexuality

Homosexuality has been legal in Ecuador since a 1997 landmark decision by the Constitutional Tribunal overturned as unconstitutional section one of Article 516 of the Penal Code, which previously criminalized sexual activities between persons of the same sex.

The age of consent in Ecuador is 14 regardless of gender and/or sexual orientation.[1]

Recognition of same-sex relationships

There is legal recognition of same-sex couples[1].

Discrimination protections

In 1998, Ecuador became the first country in the Americas (and only the third worldwide after South Africa and Fiji) to include sexual orientation as a protected category in its constitution.[2]

Living conditions

A fairly large gay scene has developed in Quito and Guayaquil. Nevertheless, Ecuador still has a conservative and macho culture, and homosexuality continues to be viewed negatively. Moreover, institutional homophobia persists: for instance, a 2000 gay pride march was broken up by the police with tear gas.[3]

See also


  1. Worldwide ages of consent. AVERT (last updated 2008-02-29). Retrieved on 2008-03-26.
  2. Ottosson, Daniel (2006). "LGBT world legal wrap up survey" (PDF). November Edition. International Lesbian and Gay Association. Retrieved on 2008-03-14.
  3. Gay Ecuador. Gay Guide. Gay Times. Retrieved on 2008-03-26.


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