South America




Claudia López, First Woman Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, Marries Girlfriend

Claudia López, the first woman and LGBTQ person elected mayor of the Colombian capital of Bogotá, married Angélica Lozano Correa, her girlfriend of three years, on Monday. Tweeted Lopez: “Heading to the happiest moment of my life! I love you my divine Angelica! Thank you for existing and for always loving me. I promise to… Read more »

New NGO launched to aid in human rights advocacy

A new Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) was recently launched in the interest of advocating for human rights issues. Through advocacy and partnership, Justice Corps Inc. (Guyana) (JCG)will conduct research, evaluate, generate and initiate actions using tested and/or other methods, provisions, and programming to end human rights violation. This includes focus in the areas of Civil and… Read more »

First Same-Sex Couple Marries In Ecuador

Roughly a month after Ecuador’s highest court, the Constitutional Court, ruled that gay and lesbian couples could marry, a lesbian couple on Thursday became the first same-sex couple to tie the knot in the South American nation of 16 million. According to the AP, Michelle Avilés and Alexandra Chávez married at the civil registry office… Read more »

Brazil Celebrates Gay Pride And Favorable Supreme Court Ruling

Hundreds of thousands of Brazilians turned out in Sao Paulo to mark gay pride with a huge parade, after the president criticized a Supreme Court ruling making homophobia a criminal act. Steve Inskeep, Host: The new president of Brazil has been in office a little less than six months. Many people saw the election of… Read more »

Brazil Celebrates Gay Pride And Favorable Supreme Court Ruling

Hundreds of thousands of Brazilians turned out in Sao Paulo to mark gay pride with a huge parade, after the president criticized a Supreme Court ruling making homophobia a criminal act. Steve Inskeep, Host: The new president of Brazil has been in office a little less than six months. Many people saw the election of… Read more »

Ecuador’s highest court legalizes same-sex marriage

(CNN) – Ecuador’s highest court has ruled to recognize same-sex marriage, marking a watershed moment for LGBTQ rights in the Catholic-majority country. Judges on Quito’s constitutional court ruled five-to-four on Wednesday to overhaul the country’s laws, arguing that its current marriage legislation was discriminatory and unconstitutional, and that same-sex couples should be allowed equal rights.… Read more »

Ecuador’s Highest Court Orders Lawmakers To Allow Gay Couples To Marry

Ecuador’s highest court, the Constitutional Court, on Wednesday instructed lawmakers to approve legislation allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. The 5-4 ruling comes after a lengthy legal battle waged by several couples who wish to marry. Ecuador has recognized gay couples with civil unions for a decade. But plaintiffs Efrain Soria and Xavier Benalcazar,… Read more »

LGBTQ Coalition launches third Guyana Pride Festival

– eight days of events slated The Guyana LGBTQ Coalition officially launched its third annual Guyana Pride Festival on Friday. The launching of the Festival was held at the Secretariat of the Society against Sexual Orientaion Discrimination (SASOD) on Duncan Street, Lamaha Gardens and was hosted by Joel Simpson, Valini Leitch and Shabaki Singh. According… Read more »

Police uses discriminatory laws to extort LGBT persons- SASOD

Discriminatory clauses in the Laws of Guyana contribute to extortion of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons by law enforcement authorities. Managing Director of the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), Joel Simpson told the News Room that over the years, many such cases were recorded where LGBT persons were made to pay bribes… Read more »

Amazon Tribe Wins Lawsuit, Blocks Big Oil’s Bid To Destroy Millions Of Acres Of Rainforest

In a landmark victory, the Waorani people of Pastaza, an indigenous tribe from the Ecuadorian Amazon, successfully protected half a million acres of their ancestral territory in the Amazon rainforest from being mined for oil drilling by Big Oil companies. A three-judge panel of the Pastaza Provincial Court indefinitely suspended the auctioning of Waorani lands… Read more »

Hivos and the Bolivian Ministry of Health promote respect for diversity

In Bolivia, fear and stigmatization cause many people to ostracize and disrespect people because of their HIV-status, their (actual or perceived) sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. Members of the LGBTI community are often discriminated against, and live without expressions of affection – even from their own families. They experience unequal treatment in the workplace… Read more »

Chile set to pass equal marriage bill

Incoming president of the Senate said ‘there is no doubt’ they will pass a stagnated equal marriage bill this year The new president of Chile’s upper house of parliament, the Senate, has promised to pass an equal marriage bill this legislative year. ‘Chile is in full cultural change, [and] demands wider freedoms and rights’ Jaime… Read more »

Venezuelan police raid offices of HIV and AIDS support group

People with HIV and AIDS have faced severe difficulties finding adequate support during the country’s political and economic crisis Police in Venezuela raided the offices of HIV and AIDS services organization on Friday (15 February). The International Council for AIDS Service Organizations [ICASO] confirmed that the authorities had forcibly entered the group’s offices in the… Read more »

Brazil’s sole openly gay congressman leaves country after death threats

Jean Wyllys said he was currently outside of the country and had no plans to return after a growing number of threats in past year Brazil’s first and only openly gay congressman has announced that he is leaving his job – and the country – after receiving death threats. In a newspaper interview on Thursday,… Read more »

Which is the world’s most LGBT-friendly city?

Even when cities seem progressive on the surface, the lived experience of members of the LGBT community can tell a dramatically different story Amid a mass of colour and pounding Latin rhythms, revellers at this year’s Bogotá Pride march waved banners stating “not one step back”. They were among tens of thousands who took to… Read more »

Brazil’s new president strips LGBTI rights on his first day in office

It was one of his first actions after his inauguration Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, has stayed true to his word and signed executive orders targeting the LGBTI community. The ‘proud homophobe’ used his first day in office to sign the orders. They will affect the LGBTI community, indigenous groups and descendants of slaves. Just… Read more »

Gay Couples Rush to Wed Before Brazil’s New President Takes Office

Sao Paulo, Brazil — Just hours after Jair Bolsonaro won Brazil’s presidential election in a landslide victory for conservatives, Carolina Zannata and her girlfriend called the closest public notary and set a date for their wedding. Gay marriage has been legal in Brazil since 2013, and Ms. Zannata said she and Aline Foguel had not… Read more »

SASOD Observes 15 Years As Human Rights Organization

SASOD at the weekend celebrated its 15th anniversary as a non-governmental organization representing the rights and provided services to the LGBT community locally. Among the moves of the organization this year was discussions with the government of Guyana to modify local human rights legislation to include members of the LGBT community. Delivering remarks on behalf… Read more »

13+ heartwarming images of 2018 Marcha del Orgullo in Buenos Aires

Activists called for laws to protect trans workers and legalize abortion Thousands took to the streets of Buenos Aires on Saturday 17 November to celebrate the annual Marcha del Orgullo. Buenos Aires Pride is the largest LGBTI event in Argentina and attracts tourists and locals every year. Particularly, the local LGBTI community called for a… Read more »

Court strikes down Guyana law banning trans people dressing according to their gender

Previously it was illegal for people to dress ‘in clothing of the opposite sex’ The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled against a law in Guyana banning men and women from going into public places ‘dressed in clothing of the opposite sex for an “improper purpose”‘. In their ruling, the CCJ deemed the law unconstitutional.… Read more »

Chilean President Signs Transgender Rights Law

Chilean President Sebastian Piñera on Wednesday signed into law a bill that allows transgender individuals over 14 to legally change their name and gender identity without surgery or a court order. The legislation, which received final approval by lawmakers in September, will take effect next year. “We signed the Gender Identity Law because we strongly… Read more »

Trans people in Uruguay can now self-identify their gender, without surgery

Uruguay just took huge steps towards equality with a tonne of new trans laws Transgender people in Uruguay are celebrating after the country’s Congress passed a comprehensive trans law yesterday (18 October). The law brings in a host of new rights for transgender people. Most notably, trans people can now self-identify their gender and update… Read more »

2018 is turning into the most deadly for LGBTI people in Brazil

More than 300 people have been killed this year, the highest number yet in Brazil The rate of murders and violence against LGBTIs in Brazil has jumped likely making 2018 the most deadly year ever. More than 300 people have already been murdered this year, by this time last year, 220 LGBTIs had been killed.… Read more »

March for Diversity illuminates Montevideo in favor of LGBT culture

Since 2006, the March for Diversity illuminates every year the most important avenue in Montevideo with a ‘comparsa’ of thousands of people who dance, celebrate and shout slogans in favor of policies for the rights of the LGBT community. In this year’s edition, held on Friday, many marched with yellow and red handkerchiefs, colors chosen… Read more »

In pictures: Expelled for being gay

Brazilian photographer Nayara Leite has been exploring the lives of six Brazilian homosexuals who were expelled from their homes when they told their families they were gay. Leite asked them to send her a happy photograph of them as a child, which she then burnt – an act she feels reflects the rejection they had… Read more »

Activists take to streets for Guyana’s first LGBT Pride parade

LGBT activists in Guyana peacefully held the country’s first ever Pride parade over the weekend. Guyana is the only country in South America to criminalise homosexuality, under Colonial-era laws, and LGBT people still often face discrimination. ? But campaigners in the country risked arrest on Saturday (June 2) when they took to the streets for… Read more »

São Paulo’s gay pride parade – in pictures

Hundreds of thousands of people have gathered in Brazil’s largest city for its 22nd annual celebration. Waving rainbow flags in a Carnival-like atmosphere, marchers paraded down the skyscraper-lined Avenida Paulista on Sunday to music blasting from 18 sound trucks, with revellers of all ages filling more than 10 city blocks A striking costume and rainbow… Read more »

Thousands revel in Brazil’s gay pride parade

Sao Paulo — Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Brazil’s largest city Sunday for its 22nd gay pride parade, which is considered one of the world’s biggest. Waving LGBT rainbow flags in a Carnival-like atmosphere, marchers paraded down Sao Paulo’s skyscraper-lined Avenida Paulista to music blasting from 18 sound trucks. Revelers of all ages,… Read more »

Colombia’s indigenous transgender women find refuge, freedom working on coffee farms

Francy came to work at the coffee farms five years ago. (Lena Mucha) Yuliana and her colleagues head home after work. (Lena Mucha) Although photographer Lena Mucha had worked with indigenous communities while studying anthropology, she had never approached them with a camera. But after reading an article that one of her friends wrote about… Read more »

Colombia’s LGBT community may not be benefiting fully from reparations system

When Aura Hinestroza talks about her life, she divides it in two chapters: “The Aura who was happy, and the Aura who came after,” Hinestroza said. Eighteen years ago, Hinestroza was working as a journalist in Chocó, a western region in Colombia. She got a tip about the FARC, or the Revolutionary Armed Forces of… Read more »

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 »

In Brazil, soccer has been mainly a straight guy’s sport. A new gay league is changing that.

Rio De Janeiro — Douglas Braga left his home in rural southeastern Brazil when he was 12, moving to Rio de Janeiro to pursue the Brazilian dream and become a professional soccer player. Training up to eight hours a day, he had to drop out of high school. He turned professional when he was 16,… Read more »

100,000 March For Marriage Equality, Transgender Rights In Chile

Tens of thousands of activists on Saturday joined a protest in Santiago, Chile to demand passage of laws that would extend marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples and protect transgender people. According to organizer the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (Movilh), 100,000 people attended the protest. Demonstrators marched from Plaza Italia to Plaza… Read more »

Uruguay’s first out trans senator vows to stand up for LGBT+ rights

Michelle Suarez, Uruguay’s first out trans senator, has vowed to stand up for LGBT+ rights in the country. Suarez earlier this month became the first transgender senator in Uruguay. The 34-year-old politician took her seat in the upper chamber of Congress on 10 October. And in a new interview, Suarez has vowed to stand up… Read more »

Thousands protest ruling to overturn ban on ‘conversion therapy’ for gays and lesbians in Brazil

Thousands of demonstrators gathered in downtown Sao Paulo on Friday to protest a court’s recent decision to overturn an 18-year ban on conversion therapy meant to “cure” gay people. Chants of “it’s not a disease” could be heard over songs including Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” as protesters flew rainbow flags and held banners demanding… Read more »

Brazil legalises ‘gay cure’ therapy as court rules homosexuality is a disease

Brazil has re-legalised so-called “gay cure therapy” as a judge deemed homosexuality to be a “disease”. Judge Waldemar Claudio de Carvalho overruled a 1999 resolution by the Federal Council of Psychology which prohibited the treatment of homosexuality by psychologists. The federal judge in Brasília ruled in favour of a psychologist whose license was revoked for… Read more »

The Uruguayan government is drafting a law to pay reparations to transgender people

Sandra Valin, who is transgender, was born in 1974 and said growing up in Uruguay, her mom wouldn’t allow her to leave home alone. “When I was a kid I was a target because I was flamboyant and feminine, it was horrible, and it didn’t end with the dictatorship – the persecution continued into the… Read more »

Chile’s president introduces same-sex marriage bill

Will Chile become the fifth South American country to pass marriage equality? Chile’s president Michelle Bachelet will formally introduce a bill to allow same-sex couples to get married. The measure will be introduced on 28 August. Chilean LGBTI advocacy group the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, has said the marriage and an adoption bill… Read more »

Guyana, Jamaica differ on putting LGBT rights to a vote

In Guyana, officials have backed away from the idea of holding a referendum on whether to recognize the human rights of LGBT people, but Jamaican officials are now discussing just such a plan as the only way they would allow a repeal of Jamaica’s “buggery law.” LGBT activists hate the idea of putting human rights… Read more »

Colombia gets first ‘polyamorous family’ as three men legally established as unit

Three gay men say they have gained legal recognition as the first “polyamorous family” in Colombia, where same-sex marriages were legalised last year. “We wanted to validate our household… and our rights, because we had no solid legal basis establishing us as a family,” said one of the men, actor Victor Hugo Prada, in a… Read more »