Central America

 

 

 

Lesbian couple face up to six years in jail – just for getting married

Two women face up to six years in jail for holding a same-sex marriage in Costa Rica – despite a ban. Laura Florez-Estrada and Jazmin Elizondo successfully registered their marriage in over the summer. Although same-sex marriage is banned in the country, the pair were able to marry due to a 24-year-old clerical error that… Read more »

Mexico Supreme Court Strikes Gay Marriage Bans; Chihuahua Joins Equality States

Mexico’s highest court has struck down state bans on gay marriage as unconstitutional for a fifth time. A state law which considers the ultimate purpose of marriage to be “procreation, and or defines [marriage] as celebrated between a man and a woman, is unconstitutional,” Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled. The ruling, delivered June 3 but made… Read more »

Mexico: Court rules same-sex marriage bans ‘discriminatory’

Mexico’s highest court has called bans on same-sex marriage “totally unjustified”. The court was responding to a petition for legal recourse submitted by a gay couple against state laws in Sinaloa which prevented them from marrying. The Supreme Court said in a statement: “The contested provisions are clearly discriminatory because the relationships in which homosexual… Read more »

Hearings begin over LGBT rights to travel in Caribbean

LGBTI rights activist Maurice Tomlinson provides this report on the first day of hearings at the Caribbean Court of Justice in connection with his case challenging the ban against gays entering Belize and Trinidad & Tobago. The case started with me giving evidence based on my witness statement. As expected, the lawyer for Trinidad and… Read more »

QueerView March 13: A Look Back At The Week In LGBT News Stories

Each week HuffPost Gay Voices and HuffPost Live will take a look back at some of the biggest queer news stories from the past week. This regular feature is titled “QueerView.” LGBT Activist Describes Queer Life In Mexico City Estefania Vela Barba discusses what it’s like to be queer in Mexico City. Click Here Source… Read more »

QueerView March 13: A Look Back At The Week In LGBT News Stories

Each week HuffPost Gay Voices and HuffPost Live will take a look back at some of the biggest queer news stories from the past week. Check back every Friday for your queer news round-up in this regular feature titled “QueerView.” LGBT Activist Describes Queer Life In Mexico City Estefania Vela Barba discusses what it’s like… Read more »

7 battlefields: The fight for LGBTI rights in the Caribbean

A recap of recent gains, losses and ongoing battles over LGBTI rights in seven Caribbean nations (Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad, Belize, Barbados, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands), with help from coverage in the Caribbean IRN Blog of the International Resource Network: Areas With Anti-Gay Laws Guyana U.N. action: During Guyana’s recent Universal Periodic Review before the… Read more »

Mexico: First same-sex couple finally marry in Baja California

The first same-sex couple have married in the Mexican state of Baja California, after a protracted legal battle and numerous failed attempts. The Mexican Supreme Court ruled last year that the northern state – which borders the US state of California – could not prevent Victor Aguirre Espinoza and Fernando Urías Amparo from marrying. However,… Read more »

Report: 594 LGBT people murdered in Americas during 15-month period

A report the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights released on Wednesday indicates anti-LGBT violence claimed the lives of at least 594 people in the Western Hemisphere between Jan. 1, 2013, and March 31 of this year. More than half of these reported deaths during this 15-month period took place in Brazil. These include an 8-year-old… Read more »

Belizean LGBT Rights Violations

Blog is all LGBT Belizean experiences about homophobia, violence and general discrimination. Deconstructing a System of Oppression in Belize and the Caribbean As a presenter at the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex Association World Conference in Mexico City in October. It was my hope that I could share our experience on L.G.B.T activism in… Read more »

Gay Marriage Law Takes Effect In Mexican State Of Coahuila

Gay and lesbian couples on Wednesday began applying for marriage licenses after a law legalizing such unions took effect in the Mexican state of Coahuila. Coahuila, which is bordered by Texas to its north, is the first Mexican state to legislatively allow gay couples to marry. On Monday, September 1, an overwhelming majority of lawmakers… Read more »

Same-sex marriage and adoption approved in another Mexican state

The Mexican state of Coahuila has joined one other state and Mexico City in legally recognising same-sex marriages. The state voted the bill into law yesterday. Presenting the bill was Samuel Acevedo, who said he wanted all gay and lesbian couples to have equal rights to straight couples. He said the legislation would help to… Read more »

Belize faces heat over rights of Maya, LGBTI and migrant workers

Belize City—In a recent meeting held in Mexico City, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an organ of the Organization of American States (OAS), called out Belize over alleged human rights violations against the Maya community, migrant workers and the LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex) community. The IACHR, which took issue with… Read more »

Honduran LGBT leader talks coup, U.S. gov’t

Honduran LGBT leader Nelson Arambu, from the Movimiento de Diverisdad en Resistencia, addressed a crowd of about 60 people at the Berger Park Cultural Center July 2. Arambu spoke about the issues facing LGBT people in Honduras and the links between the U.S. and Honduran governments. Arambu, who is openly gay, shared background information on… Read more »

Mexico City: Thousands celebrate pride and call for an end to homophobia

Twelve thousand turned out in the streets of Mexico’s capital to celebrate pride on Saturday, under the protective gaze of around 1,900 police officers. The celebrators stopped in front of the Senate to protest the Family and Human Development Committee, whose chairman, Jose Maria Martinez, has spoken out against abortion and same sex marriage in… Read more »

Belize Transgender Woman Stoned And Beaten By Mob

Belize City, Belize – An 18 year-old transgender woman was attacked with stones and beaten by a mob on Tuesday evening in Belize City. The incident happened just after 6 pm. The young woman identifying as Vanessa Champagne Paris reported she was verbally attacked when a man spotted and shouted at her “why is a… Read more »

Isabella: Honduran Woman Seeks Protection in U.S. Where She Can Embrace Her Gay Identity

Isabella* is a 31 year old woman who always knew she was gay, even when she was a little girl. In her home country of Honduras, however, LGBT individuals are routinely physically and sexually abused, tortured, and persecuted. It wasn’t until coming to the United States as a young adult, fleeing violence in Honduras, that… Read more »

Gay Honduran Immigrant Fights to Stay in Florida to Escape Torture, Abuse, Lawyer Says

Italo Morales is on the run. The 27-year-old from Honduras is trying to scrape up the cash to sneak through the border from Mexico to El Paso, Texas. After that, he plans on speeding through the southern United States on his way to Florida. He’s headed toward Hollywood – home for the past 10 years… Read more »

Taboo on LGBT blood donation lingers, according to survey

A new survey from the Center for Research and Promotion of Human Rights in Central America (CIPAC) released Tuesday suggested that Costa Ricans overwhelmingly oppose discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, but many prejudices still exist. Despite 90 percent support for equal rights for the LGBT community regardless of their sexual orientation, a… Read more »

Dismantling Costa Rica’s lesbian and gay closet

Luis Guillermo Solís has barely begun his presidency and already the LGBTI communities have much to celebrate. For one, Solís is the first president of Costa Rica who has familiarity with the gay nightlife of San José. Or at least he is the first president willing to publicly admit it. In January on Costa Rica’s… Read more »

Mexico’s gay rights movement gaining ground

Despite a shift in public opinion, gay couples remain unable to marry throughout most of the country. Guadalajara, Mexico – As the countdown to New Year’s Day reached its climax in Guadalajara’s trendy Barezzito nightclub, many of the well-dressed local couples shared a celebratory kiss. But the euphoria did not last long for two young… Read more »

Lesbian couple becomes second same-sex marriage in Oaxaca, Mexico

Karina and Gabriela became the second same-sex couple to wed in the state of Oaxaca since a December 2012 Supreme Court ruling found the state’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional Yesterday (22 December) Karina and Gabriela, whose last names have been omitted per their request, married in a private ceremony at approximately 3pm local time.… Read more »

Belize, Trinidad, fight LGBTs at CCJ

Maurice Tomlinson, who filed the challenge, is Jamaica’s leading LGBT lobbyist Belize and its sister Caribbean nation – Trinidad and Tobago, appear tomorrow before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), to face a challenge filed against both countries by Jamaica’s leading LGBT lobbyist, Maurice Tomlinson – the man who alleges that Belize’s immigration laws violate… Read more »

Casco Viejo, Panama City

You don’t need much time to process what’s going on after the elevator door slides open onto the rooftop at the Tantalo Hotel in Panama City’s Casco Viejo neighborhood. If you’re heading out during the day, the mind-baffling proximity of Panama City’s expansive, modern skyline across the bay from the hotel, which is itself surrounded… Read more »

Belize prepares for gay sex law to be axed

With a court due to rule whether the gay sex ban is unconstitutional, experts say the Belize government is paving the way for consensual anal sex to become legal Belize is preparing for their law against sodomy to be struck down by the courts. Gay anal sex, considered ‘against the order of nature’, is illegal… Read more »

An LGBT victory in Belize

September 21, 2013 marked Belize’s 32nd independence day and, in an unprecedented move, the country’s Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, used the opportunity to support the right to equality for LGBT citizens. In his message to mark the day the PM said: “Government will therefore fully respect the right of the churches to propagate their understanding… Read more »

Chihuahua becomes fourth Mexican state to legalize same-sex marriage

Same-sex couples may now seek to be married through the Civil Registry of the Mexican state of Chihuahua after a District Court Judge ruled in favor of a gay couple who had sought to be married but had instead been turned away. The couple, named as Tony and Thomas by El Pueblo, had sought to… Read more »

Chihuahua becomes fourth Mexican state to legalize same-sex marriage

The Mexican state of Chihuahua has joined Mexico City, Quintana Roo and Oaxaca in allowing same-sex couples to marry following a 22 August court verdict Same-sex couples may now seek to be married through the Civil Registry of the Mexican state of Chihuahua after a District Court Judge ruled in favor of a gay couple… Read more »

Gay in Belize? You’re breaking the law. Still.

A vestige of British colonial times, Belize’s anti-sodomy law punishes gay sex with up to 10 years in prison. Its Supreme Court is due to rule whether to scrap the law, but Belize’s religious right — backed by a Texas missionary — is pushing to uphold it. Belize City, Belize — As a growing number… Read more »

Mexico’s 1st gay mayor elected in rough north

Mexico City (AP) — Mexico’s first openly gay elected mayor is set to take office in a rough part of Zacatecas state known for cowboy boots, embossed belts and drug gang shootouts. Benjamin Medrano, a 47-year-old singer and gay bar-owner, says he is proud to be openly gay and rights groups say his victory in… Read more »

Costa Rican’s Laura Chinchilla Signs Bill Possibly Legalizing Gay Civil Unions

Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla has signed a bill which could extend some benefits associated with marriage to gay and lesbian couples. Daily La Nacion reported on Friday that Chinchilla had signed the bill into law. The Legislative Assembly approved the measure on Monday. After gay rights groups hailed passage as a victory, conservative lawmakers… Read more »

Guatemala says no to gay marriage

Otto Pérez Molina, president of Guatemala, says he is opposed to gay marriage, ahead of a discussion on the matter by the Organization of American States Guatemala’s president Otto Pérez Molina said that his country is not in favor of gay marriage and abortion, two issues that will be discussed in the General Assembly of… Read more »

Belize gay rights campaigner is facing more death threats, says lawyer

Caleb Orozco, fighting to overturn country’s anti-gay laws, is said to have faced more threats of violence since start of court case Death threats against Caleb Orozco, the gay rights campaigner attempting to overturn laws that criminalise homosexuality in Belize, have escalated during the four-day courtroom hearing, his lawyer has claimed. The high-profile challenge to… Read more »

Activist challenges Belize’s church and state over anti-gay law

In a climate of anti-gay moral panic, Caleb Orozco leads a fight to force Belize to repeal its law punishing gay sex with up to ten years imprisonment Caleb Orozco, an LGBT rights advocate is taking to court Belize’s government and an anti-gay religious lobby in an attempt to overturn the country’s anti-gay sex law.… Read more »

USAID launches partnership to promote LGBT rights

The U.S. Agency for International Development on Monday unveiled a public-private partnership designed to promote LGBT rights around the world. USAID will work with the Swedish International Development Corporation Agency, the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, the Gay and Lesbian Victory Institute, the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law and Olivia Companies on… Read more »

Honduras reforms its penal code to end human right violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity

Honduras is moving a step closer to the UNAIDS vision of ‘zero discrimination’. Its Congress has recently adopted a reform of the Penal Code that will ensure legal protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. “This has been a historic step for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual and Intersex (LGBTI) populations that have… Read more »

Indigenous LGBT political leaders bring concerns to D.C.

On Saturday, March 16, indigenous LGBT elected officials and candidates from North and South America provided testimony at a public hearing at the Inter American Commission on Human Rights at the Organization of American States. Three leaders representing indigenous populations in Bolivia, Mexico and the United States testified at the panel “Situation of the Human… Read more »

Inciting hatred will be punished in Honduras

The reform was introduced by the addition to Article 321, whereby sanctions are taken against people who publicly, through the media, inciting racial discrimination either or sexual orientation and gender identity. On February 21, 2013 becomes a historic day for the LGBT community in Honduras, after long years of struggle process where organizations like LGTB… Read more »

Mexico’s Highest Court Declares Law Banning Gay Marriage Unconstitutional

The Mexican Supreme Court (la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nacion) on Monday declared a law in the state of Oaxacan limiting marriage to heterosexual couples to be in violation of the country’s constitution. According to the Washington Blade, the court cited two groundbreaking U.S. Supreme Court civil rights cases, Loving v. Virginia and… Read more »

Gay Murders in Belize

In Belize there have been over 300 murders since 2010 (145 the most in a year ever in 2012). Of that there were 27 murders of gay men in its various forms between 1997-2012. The recent murders of the four men is a sign of the times and how our LGBT organizations operating environment is… Read more »