LGBT rights in Argentina

LGBT rights in Argentina

Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal since 1887
Gender identity/expression Right to change legal gender since 2012
Military service Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly
Discrimination protections Sexual orientation protections in Buenos Aires and Rosario (see below)
Family rights
Recognition of
Same-sex marriage since 2010
Adoption Full adoption rights since 2010
Plaza de Mayo during Buenos Aires' pride parade, 2010

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in Argentina are among the most advanced in its region. Upon legalising same-sex marriage on July 15, 2010, Argentina became the first country in Latin America, the second in the Americas, and the tenth in the world to do so.[1] The country also "has one of the world's most comprehensive transgender rights laws":[2] its Gender Identity Law, passed in 2012, makes Argentina the "only country that allows people to change their gender identities without facing barriers such as hormone therapy, surgery or psychiatric diagnosis that labels them as having an abnormality."[3][4] In 2015, the World Health Organization cited Argentina as an exemplary country for providing transgender rights.[4] The country also allows bisexual and gay men to donate blood and, in 2016, agreed to join the Global Equality Fund.[2]

In Pew Research Center's 2013 Global Attitudes Survey, Argentina was the Latin American country with the most positive societal attitudes towards homosexuality, with about three-quarters (74%) of those surveyed saying it should be accepted.[5] The country's capital and largest city, Buenos Aires, has become an important recipient of LGBT tourism and has been described as "Latin America's gay capital".[6][7]

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity

Same-sex sexual activity in Argentina has been legal since 1887.[8]:88 The age of consent is 15 for all sexual orientations.[9][10]


While same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults in private had been legal since 1887, there were no civil rights laws designed to protect LGBT people, and public opinion tended to look down upon LGBT people.[11]

During the nineteenth century writings on homosexuality treated it as a medical pathology, an accusation to be levied against political opponents or something brought into the nation by foreigners.[11] The only public image of homosexuality was urban prostitution and public locations used for cruising. In 1914 a homosexual-themed play named Los Invertidos was forced to shut down, although medical journals were permitted to discuss homosexuality.

Police harassment of homosexuals is reported to have increased during the first military coup of 1930 which initiated the Infamous Decade. In 1936, a mass arrest of homosexual men prompted legislation to legalize and regulate heterosexual prostitution based on the argument that men were turning to homosexuality out of desperation.[12] Reports on the policies during the Peronist terms (1946 to 1955) are vague and contradictory. In 1946, Eva Perón extended her personal protection to Miguel de Molina, and some reports claim Juan Perón ordered the police and the military not to engage in gay bashings.

The first LGBT rights organizations to be established were Nuestro Mundo (1969) and Safo (1972). Together they represented the homosexual liberation front that sought an alliance with the political left in order to advance civil rights. The 1976 coup eradicated this movement and many of its members were among the thousands of disappeared people.[11] The return to democracy in 1983 allowed for the creation of a LGBT rights movement. During this initial era of democratization, the first gay bar opened[13] and the LGBT community began to become more open, with pride festivals, publications and political activism. Legally, two cities, Buenos Aires and Rosario formally enacted legislation to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

While not given official recognition until 1992, the Comunidad Homosexual Argentina publicly campaigned for the human rights of LGBT people. Since 1987 the rights of gay and bisexual women have been defended by Cuadernos de Existencia Lesbiana. Significant legal and social progress began to be seen in the 1990s.

In 2007, the International Gay World Cup was held in Buenos Aires, with the Argentina team winning.[14]

In recent years, there has been an effort to encourage LGBT tourists to visit Buenos Aires, with the hope that the increased tourism will help the economy.[13]

In 2015, a judge reduced the sentence of a man convicted of raping a six-year-old boy, on the basis that the young child had a "homosexual orientation."[15] Agence France-Presse reported that Aníbal Fernández called for the impeachment of the judges that made that decision, describing it as "one of the biggest disgraces we've ever seen in this country."[16]

Recognition of same-sex relationships

Recognition of same-sex unions in South America
  Other type of partnership
  Same-sex marriage banned
  Same-sex sexual activity illegal

Some background

Following the institution of civil unions in Río Negro and the city of Buenos Aires, in 2005 a judge ordered prison authorities in the Córdoba Province to allow conjugal visits between gay prisoners and their partners. The law approving the civil union of homosexual couples in both the city of Buenos Aires and the Río Negro Province was endorsed in 2003, and in the town of Villa Carlos Paz in 2007.[17] Since 2009, the city of Río Cuarto allowed civil union too. These unions provided many of the same rights and privileges as that of married couples; however, adoption of children were not included among them.

An early-2007 poll showed that 75% of those surveyed in the city of Buenos Aires believed gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry,[18] whereas 66% of the citizens supported gay marriage in 2009, if consideration was given to the whole country.[19]

2009 court ruling

In November 2009, a judge ruled that the prohibition of same-sex marriage was unconstitutional and permitted a male couple, Alex Freyre and Jose Maria Di Bello, to be married. The decision was hailed as a "legal first" by Reuters who said it was "setting a precedent that could pave the way for the Catholic country to become the first in Latin America to allow same-sex marriage".[20] Freyre and Di Bello confirmed they were "the first gay couple in Latin America to get the right to marry".[20] The Chief of Government of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri, confirmed the city's government would not be appealing the decision.[21][22] Macri said that the decision was "an important step, because we must learn how to live in freedom without hurting the rights of others",[23] later adding that "we must cohabit, and accept this reality. The world is heading toward that direction".[24] The wedding was finally suspended after another judge revoked the original decision in late November 2009.[25] Finally, on 28 December 2009, the couple got married in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego Province, becoming the first homosexual married couple in Latin America.[26][27] They were supported by the governor of Tierra del Fuego, Fabiana Ríos, who signed a decree approving the wedding based in the judicial rule of November 2009. Because that decision applied only in the case presented by Freyre and Di Bello, other homosexual couples had to appeal to the Judicial Power, wait for the resolution of unconstitutionality and then go to Tierra del Fuego to marry.[28]

Same-sex marriage legalisation

Same-sex marriage was legalised in Argentina on 15 July 2010, after a positive vote in both the Chamber of Deputies (Lower House) and the Senate (Upper House).[29][30] Same-sex couples are thus eligible for the same benefits and protections as opposite-sex couples (including adoption).[31] Some cities also have civil union laws that continue to be in place as an alternative to marriage that offers more limited rights. After the law was passed, Argentina became the second country in the Americas in legalising same-sex marriage,[32] as well as the first in Latin America[33][34][35] and the tenth worldwide, joining Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Sweden.[31]

Discrimination protections

As of 2013, no national law exists to expressly deal with discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, although the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires and the city of Rosario (the third most populous of the country, ruled by the Socialist Party) do include sexual orientation in their civil rights laws. On 13 August 2010, the Chamber of Deputies approved amendment to the anti-discrimination law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, but was not voted by the Senate.[36][37] New proposal was introduced in May 2013.[38][39]

On 27 March 2015, a comprehensive federal anti-discrimination law was introduced in the National Congress by the leading LGBT rights group and several members of Congress. The bill's first debate in a commission will be on 29 April.[40][41]

Gay and lesbian military service

On 27 February 2009, Argentina's parliament passed a broad military reform act. One of the provisions of the law allows gay and lesbians to serve in the military and bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation within the armed forces. The law became effective six months after passage.[42][43]

Hate crimes law

In 2012, Law No 26.791 amended the Penal Code adding life imprisonment to hate crimes based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.[44]

Article 80(4) of the Penal Code, based on "Crime against individuals" states that life imprisonment shall be imposed to anyone who kills for pleasure, greed and hatred based on racial, religious reasons, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.[45]

Transgender rights and discrimination

Gay Pride Parade in Buenos Aires (2007).

In certain towns or cities, cross dress may be illegal. Discrimination and harassment on the account of gender identity still remains a problem, although the trangender community has become more visible and politically organized.

In 1997, Asociación de Lucha por la Identidad Travesti-Transsexual was created to defend the rights of transgender people. One of its first victories came in 2006 when the Supreme Court overturned a lower court's ruling that had stated that transgender people did not have a legal right to organize and campaign for their rights.

In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that a 17-year-old had the legal right to go through the sex change process and have her legal documents changed to reflect the operation.[46]

In 2009, Marcela Romero won the legal right to have her identity changed, and was given an honorary title by the government. She was awarded by the Honorable Congress woman of the year. Romero remains one of the leading advocates for the human rights of transgender people in Argentina.[47]

In 2012, senators unanimously approved the "Gender Identity Law". This law grants adults sex reassignment surgery and hormone therapy as a part of their public or private health care plans. The law also allows for changes to gender, image, or birth name on civil registries without the approval of a doctor or a judge.[3] In 2013 a six-year-old girl named Luana, who was designated male at birth, became the first transgender child in Argentina to have her new name officially changed on her identity documents. She is believed to be the youngest to benefit from the country’s Gender Identity Law.[48]


Comprehensive sexual education remains a taboo topic in Argentina politics.[49] As such it is difficult to implement a preventative campaign that will target the youth due to religious objections from clergy, parents and local officials. Likewise, while health care is the right of each citizen, it is often elusive for people living in rural communities. Much of the funding for public education and treatment has come from private charities, NGO's and international organizations.

Blood donation

Since September 2015, Argentina abolished the ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood.[50]

Summary table

Right Legal status
Same-sex sexual activity legal
Equal age of consent
Anti-discrimination laws in employment [51]
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services [52]
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech)
Hate crimes law including sexual orientation and gender identity
Same-sex marriage
Adoption by single gays
Adoption by same-sex couples
Gays allowed to serve in the military
Right to change legal gender [53]
Access to IVF for lesbians
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples [54][55][56]
MSMs allowed to donate blood [57][58]

See also


  1. "Argentine Senate backs bill legalising gay marriage". BBC News. 15 July 2010. Archived from the original on 10 May 2012.
  2. 1 2 Lavers, Michael K. (March 24, 2016). "Argentina joins global LGBT rights initiative". Washington Blade. Brown, Naff, Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  3. 1 2 "Argentina OKs transgender rights: ID changes, sex-change operations and hormone therapy". 9 May 2012.
  4. 1 2 Lahrichi, Kamilia; La Valle, Leo (April 4, 2016). "Argentina's Field of Dreams for the LGBT". U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News & World Report L.P. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  5. "The Global Divide on Homosexuality" (PDF). Pew Research Center. 4 June 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  6. Haljuci, Rusha (24 August 2010). "Q&A: Gay-Friendly Spots in Buenos Aires". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  7. Santagati, Adriana (1 November 2003). "Buenos Aires, nueva capital del turismo gay de Sudamérica". Clarín. Clarín Group. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  8. Lucas, Paoli Itaborahy; Zhu, Jingshu (May 2013). "A world survey of laws: Criminalisation, protection and recognition of same-sex law". International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 July 2013.
  9. "Laws–Argentina". GayLawNet. Archived from the original on 1 September 2014. The age of consent for sexual activity is obtained [at] fifteen (15) years.
  10. "Legislation of Interpol member states on sexual offences against children–Argentina" (PDF). Interpol. 2006. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  11. 1 2 3
  12. "ARGENTINA: Back to the Bordello". TIME. 10 January 1955. Retrieved 3 February 2010.(subscription required)
  13. 1 2 Barrionuevo, Alexei (29 November 2007). "Macho Argentina warms to gay dollars and euros". The New York Times. Archived 14 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. "Argentine team beats British side to win gay world cup". Associated Press. 29 September 2007. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  15. "Argentinian judges reduce paedophile's sentence 'because six-year-old victim was gay'". The Telegraph. 19 May 2015.
  16. "Impeachment call for Argentine 'moron' judges' child abuse ruling". Agence France-Presse. 19 May 2015.
  17. Cordoba: approve the civil union between homosexuals in Villa Carlos Paz, Clarin.con, retrieved on 23 November 2007
  18. "Argentina Moving Toward Gay Marriage Rights". 1 March 2007. Archived from the original on 3 March 2007. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  19. "Según una encuesta, el 66 % de los argentinos está a favor del matrimonio gay" [According to a poll, 66% of the Argentines approve gay marriage] (in Spanish). El Intransigente. 10 November 2009. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  20. Di Nicola, Gabriel (14 November 2009). "Macri respaldó el casamiento entre gays" [Macri endorses the gay marriage] (in Spanish). La Nación. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  21. "Buenos Aires mayor won't appeal same-sex ruling". CNN. 14 November 2009. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  22. "BA mayor not to appeal ruling allowing gay marriage". Buenos Aires Herald. 14 November 2009. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  23. "Freyre, Di Bello expected to wed next month, Macri supports same-sex marriages, won't appeal court ruling". Buenos Aires Herald. 14 November 2009. Archived from the original on 17 November 2009. Retrieved 15 November 2009.
  24. "Argentine judge stops gay marriage". BBC News. 30 November 2009. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  25. "Argentine gay couple becomes first in region to marry". BBC News. 29 December 2009. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  26. "La pareja gay pudo casarse finalmente en un registro civil de Tierra del Fuego" [The gay couple finally got married in Tierra del Fuego] (in Spanish). La Nación. 28 December 2009. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  27. Soriano, Fernando (29 December 2009). "Se concretó en Ushuaia el primer matrimonio gay" [First gay marriage accomplished at Ushuaia] (in Spanish). Clarín. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  28. Perasso, Valeria (15 July 2010). "Argentina aprueba el matrimonio gay" [Argentina approves gay marriage] (in Spanish). BBC Mundo. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  29. "Upper House approves same-sex marriage bill after marathon-like debate". Buenos Aires Herald. 13 July 2010. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  30. 1 2 "Q&A: Argentina gay marriage law". BBC News. 15 July 2010. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012. Argentina has become the first country in Latin America to legalise same-sex marriage.
  31. Forero, Juan (15 July 2010). "Argentina becomes second nation in Americas to legalize gay marriage". The Seattle Times. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 10 May 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  32. "Es ley el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo" [Same-sex marriage becomes law] (in Spanish). La Nación. 15 July 2010. Archived from the original on 10 May 2012.
  33. "World press echoes same-sex marriage landmark decision". Buenos Aires Herald. 15 July 2010. Archived from the original on 10 May 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  34. "L'Argentine premier pays d'Amérique latine à autoriser le mariage homosexuel" [Argentina becomes the first Latin American country in legalising homosexual marriage] (in French). Le Parisien. 15 July 2010. Archived from the original on 10 May 2012.
  35. "Diputados da media sanción a modificación de Ley Antidiscriminatoria" [Deputies give half sanction to the modification of the Antidiscriminatory Law] (in Spanish). 13 August 2010. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  36. La ley antidiscriminatoria ya tiene media sancion de diputados
  37. (Spanish) Discriminadores con castigo
  39. (Spanish) PROYECTO DE LEY
  40. (Spanish) Buscan replicar Ley de la Ciudad en la Nación
  41. "Homosexuales podrán ser militares en Argentina" [Homosexuals will be accepted in the military in Argentina] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: El Universal. 27 February 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  42. "Militares gays no serán penalizados en las Fuerzas Armadas Argentinas" [Gay military personnel will not be punished in the Argentine Armed Forces] (in Spanish). AG Magazine. 27 February 2009. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  43. "CODIGO PENAL Ley 26.791". Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  44. "CODIGO PENAL DE LA NACION ARGENTINA". Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  45. "Argentina autoriza por primera vez una operación de cambio de sexo a un menor" [Argentine authorises change-of-sex surgery for the first time] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: El Mundo. EFE. 26 September 2007. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  46. "Fighting stigma against sexual minorities in Latin America". UNAIDS. 19 September 2006. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  47. Bowater, Donna (27 September 2013). "Six-year-old becomes first transgender child in Argentina to change identity". The Telegraph. Rio de Janeiro. Archived from the original on 11 April 2014.
  48. Segal, Joshua (25 April 2008). "Argentina's fight against HIV and Aids". The Argentina Independent. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012. Frieder argues that sexual education is one of the greatest resources being neglected by the government.
  49. (Spanish) Artículo 16 de la Constitutción Nacional
  50. (Spanish) Ley Antidiscriminatoria (Nº 23.592)
  51. "Senate passes 'gender idendity' law". Buenos Aires Herald. 9 May 2012. Archived from the original on 10 May 2012.
  52. (Spanish) Una pareja de hombres argentinos registra a un bebé como su hijo
  53. (Spanish) Somos una pareja gay que cumplió su deseo de tener hijos
  54. (Spanish) Una pareja gay puede conseguir ser padres de un bebé mediante una gestación subrogada, aunque no existe ninguna ley al respecto
  55. Argentina Abolishes Gay Blood Ban
  56. (Spanish) Nuevas normas para la donación de sangre
  57. Barrionuevo, Alexei (15 July 2010). "Argentina Approves Gay Marriage, in a First for Region". Buenos Aires, Mexico City: The New York Times. Archived from the original on 10 May 2012.
  58. "El Senado convirtió en ley el matrimonio homosexual" [Senate promulgates same-sex marriage law] (in Spanish). Clarín. 15 July 2010. Archived from the original on 10 May 2012.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to LGBT in Argentina.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/2/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.