Dominican Republic, Caribbean

Homosexuality in the Dominican Republic is legal, by national law. The age of consent is equalized regardless of sexual orientation to 18. Even though it is legal, there is still major discrimination against LGBT members of the society. This is mainly due to the strict Catholic status of the country. Although homosexuality is not generally accepted, hate crimes are rare as they are prosecutable under Dominican law. In the summer of 2006, several gay clubs and bars in the capital Santo Domingo were shut down. However, the case came in front of a local judge who ruled the closing as unlawful due to the policies of no-discrimination. Homosexuality is not illegal in the Dominican Republic, and terms referring to the disintegration of the moral good have been removed from legal documents, but protection for those in the GLBT community is still basically non-existent. The lack of rights and legal protection can lead one to believe that they are a separate, but not equal part of society. Requests for permission to march and assemble as a group have been denied, and the public outcry over homosexuality, and its believed corruption and endangerment of the youth, is still a hot button issue. 



An incredible court ruling just ordered 16 countries to make same-sex marriage legal

A landmark court ruling has ordered 16 new countries to make same-sex marriage legal. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights reached a decision today on a marriage equality petition submitted two years ago by Costa Rica President Luis Guillermo Solis. 20 countries agreed to follow the court’s rulings when they signed the American Convention on… Read more »

These Underground Santo Domingo Parties Are Shattering Gender Norms and Celebrating Queer History

The Dominican Republic is famous for its idyllic beaches, effervescent people and bomb culinary traditions. But the reality of living on the island of Quisqueya rarely mirrors the glossy pamphlets found at travel agencies, especially for queer people. Santo Domingo’s LGBTQ movement is still in its infancy, and though strides are being made in visibility… Read more »

Gay Pride and Prejudice in Dominican Republic

Shortly after taking up his post as American ambassador to the Dominican Republic in November 2013, Wally Brewster got a bit of unsolicited advice from the Vatican’s envoy to the Caribbean nation. “If you keep your private life behind the walls of your embassy, you’ll be O.K. here,” Nuncio Jude Thaddeus Okolo told Mr. Brewster.… Read more »

Dominicans see LGBT rights advancing thanks to gay US diplomat

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (AP) — Deivis Ventura is still just a candidate for the Dominican Republic’s Chamber of Deputies, but he feels like he’s already scored a victory. The 42-year-old former private school teacher, the first openly gay person to run for his country’s Congress, is delighted his campaign has not encountered overt hostility… Read more »

Dominicans See LGBT Rights Advancing With Gay US Diplomat

Deivis Ventura is still just a candidate for the Dominican Republic’s Chamber of Deputies, but he feels like he’s already scored a victory. The 42-year-old former private school teacher, the first openly gay person to run for his country’s Congress, is delighted his campaign has not encountered overt hostility as it likely would have in… Read more »

Groups attack US ambassador for taking husband to school

Conservative groups in the Dominican Republic have called for the US ambassador to resign after taking his husband to a  local school. The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Dominican Republic attacked Wally Brewster in a statement issued this week. “Mr. Brewster approaches our children in public and private schools, in sports tournaments, and other youth… Read more »

Dominican Republic Won’t Recognize Gay Marriage Performed At UK Embassy

Santo Domoingo, Dominican Republic (AP) — The Dominican Republic says it will not recognize a same-sex marriage performed for the first time in the conservative Caribbean country. In a Thursday statement, Foreign Ministry spokesman Miguel Medina said “our legislation does not recognize this type of marriage.” The statement comes two days after the British embassy… Read more »

British Embassy In Dominican Republic Marries First Gay Couple In Caribbean

A gay male couple tied the knot Wednesday at the British Embassy in the Dominican Republic, making them the first same-sex couple to marry in the Caribbean. The embassy announced the marriage on its official Twitter account. “First #SameSexWedding in @ukindomrep and in the #Caribbean between British and Dominican national @UkinCaribbean,” the embassy messaged its… Read more »

Rainbow flags stop traffic at Dominican Republic Gay Pride

A pride procession through town caused a welcome break from daily life, bringing out families into the streets to celebrate LGBT pride Thousands of people participated in this year’s Gay Pride procession in the Dominican Republic on 13 July. The Gay Pride festivities in the Caribbean island (between Haiti and Puerto Rico) re-launched in 2007… Read more »

Dominican groups reject gay US ambassador nominee

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (AP) — Religious groups in the Dominican Republic said Friday they are outraged by the nomination of a gay U.S. ambassador to the conservative Caribbean country. James ‘‘Wally’’ Brewster would be the seventh U.S. ambassador in history to be openly gay, but opponents are asking the administration of Dominican President Danilo… Read more »

Caught on camera: Police disrupt LGBT pride caravan in the Dominican Republic

[Updated Post as of 7/5/12: For the latest, go to the bottom] The number of LGBT pride month marches, rallies and events taking place in throughout Latin America to coincide with the anniversary of the the Stonewall riots of 1969 in New York City has grown exponentially each year making it difficult to keep a… Read more »

Gay Dominican Republic News & Reports

Also see: Gay Domincan Republic story Dominican Republic LGBT Movement–A Sociopolitical and Cultural Approach Caribbean Anti Violence Project 1 Governments in Denial as AIDS Ravages Caribbean 5/03 2 Dancing With the Devils: Carnival Time 10/05 3 Publication of book: ‘Musing under the Moon: … 6/06 4 CCNY’S Dominican Archives Wins Top Award For Excellence 10/07… Read more »