LGBT rights in El Salvador

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LGBT rights in El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal
Recognition of
No recognition of same-sex couples
Military service Yes

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

Criminal Code

In El Salvador's penal code there is no mention of laws punishing homosexuality.[1] There are laws regarding "moral behavior and good habits" which allow judges an extended field of interpretation. The age of consent is set at 18 years, regardless of sexual orientation.[2]

While technically legal, there were reports of armed militias targeting, "undesirables", including homosexuals and transsexuals, for executions in the late 1990s and hate crimes against LGBT are often reported by gay rights activists [3]. It is also possible that homosexuality is a crime under military law.

Civil Rights

A national law does exist to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but it is rarely enforced [4]. Polls show high levels of prejudice directed at LGBT people, and there are many reports of anti-gay harassment and bias motivated violence [5].

Much of the nation's advocacy on behalf of LGBT rights comes from William Hernandez and the other members of, "Asociacion Entre Amigos" (Among Friends Association), who have faced harassment and even death threats for their activism [6].

Recognition of same-sex couples

El Salvador does not recognize same-sex unions.


As of 2009, no openly LGBT person have sought or won public office.


The end of the civil war and the democratization paved the way for NGO's and private citizens to campaign for AIDS-HIV education. Yet, since the 1990s, people working for such groups, most notably The Oscar Romero AIDS Project, have faced harassment and death threats [7].

Comprehensive sex education is opposed by the Catholic Church and many political parties.[citation needed] Prejudice against people living with the disease remains high, and access to the latest medical care is often difficult. Yet, some progress is being made.

Since 2005, a national policy on AIDS-HIV has been developed and it has gradually gotten the support of major politicians [8]. In 2009, a national health plan to stop the spread of AIDS-HIV included a prohibition on sexual orientation based discrimination in health care. [9].

See also


  1. [1] Retrieved on August 23, 2007.
  2. [2] Retrieved on August 23, 2007.
  3. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service[3]
  4. [4]
  5. UN HCR[5]
  6. [6]
  7. Amnesty International[7]
  8. Un AIDS[8]
  9. UN AIDS [9]


*Some information provided in whole or in part by