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)|
|Same-sex marriage since 2010|
|Adoption||Full adoption rights since 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. The country also "has one of the world's most comprehensive transgender rights laws": 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." In 2015, the World Health Organization cited Argentina as an exemplary country for providing transgender rights. The country also allows bisexual and gay men to donate blood and, in 2016, agreed to join the Global Equality Fund.
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. 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".
Law regarding same-sex sexual activity
Same-sex sexual activity in Argentina has been legal since 1887.:88 The age of consent is 15 for all sexual orientations.
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.
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. 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. 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. 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 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.
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.
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." 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."
Recognition of same-sex relationships
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. 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, whereas 66% of the citizens supported gay marriage in 2009, if consideration was given to the whole country.
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". Freyre and Di Bello confirmed they were "the first gay couple in Latin America to get the right to marry". The Chief of Government of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri, confirmed the city's government would not be appealing the decision. Macri said that the decision was "an important step, because we must learn how to live in freedom without hurting the rights of others", later adding that "we must cohabit, and accept this reality. The world is heading toward that direction". The wedding was finally suspended after another judge revoked the original decision in late November 2009. Finally, on 28 December 2009, the couple got married in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego Province, becoming the first homosexual married couple in Latin America. 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.
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). Same-sex couples are thus eligible for the same benefits and protections as opposite-sex couples (including adoption). 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, as well as the first in Latin America and the tenth worldwide, joining Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Sweden.
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. New proposal was introduced in May 2013.
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.
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.
Hate crimes law
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.
Transgender rights and discrimination
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 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.
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. 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.
Comprehensive sexual education remains a taboo topic in Argentina politics. 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.
|Same-sex sexual activity legal|
|Equal age of consent|
|Anti-discrimination laws in employment|
|Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services|
|Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech)|
|Hate crimes law including sexual orientation and gender identity|
|Adoption by single gays|
|Adoption by same-sex couples|
|Gays allowed to serve in the military|
|Right to change legal gender|
|Access to IVF for lesbians|
|Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples|
|MSMs allowed to donate blood|
- National Institute Against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism
- Same-sex marriage in Argentina
- LGBT rights by country or territory
- LGBT rights in the Americas
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The age of consent for sexual activity is obtained [at] fifteen (15) years.
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Argentina has become the first country in Latin America to legalise same-sex marriage.
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- La ley antidiscriminatoria ya tiene media sancion de diputados
- (Spanish) Discriminadores con castigo
- (Spanish) ACTOS DISCRIMINATORIOS, LEY 23592: MODIFICACIONES DE LOS ARTICULOS 1, 2 Y 3, SOBRE CONSIDERACION DE ACTO DISCRIMINATORIO, LEGITIMACION Y CARGA DE PRUEBA
- (Spanish) PROYECTO DE LEY
- (Spanish) Buscan replicar Ley de la Ciudad en la Nación
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Frieder argues that sexual education is one of the greatest resources being neglected by the government.
- (Spanish) Artículo 16 de la Constitutción Nacional
- (Spanish) Ley Antidiscriminatoria (Nº 23.592)
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- (Spanish) Una pareja de hombres argentinos registra a un bebé como su hijo
- (Spanish) Somos una pareja gay que cumplió su deseo de tener hijos
- (Spanish) Una pareja gay puede conseguir ser padres de un bebé mediante una gestación subrogada, aunque no existe ninguna ley al respecto
- Argentina Abolishes Gay Blood Ban
- (Spanish) Nuevas normas para la donación de sangre
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to LGBT in Argentina.|
- Argentina: The situation of homosexual men and women, including how they are treated, the legislation on homosexuality, state protection available, and the existence of support services (2006-2009)
- Argentine Homosexual Community (CHA)
- La Fulana, Centro Comunitario para Mujeres Lesbianas y Bisexuales
- Buenos Aires: A Gay Mecca - video by Global Post