South America




Bolivian chamber of deputies approves law to allow trans people to legally change gender

The Chamber of Deputies in Bolivia has approved a measure to allow trans people to legally change their gender and name on official documents. The Gender Identity Law, which still must be approved by the country’s Senate, means anyone over 18 can legally change their name, gender and photograph on legal documents. If approved by… Read more »

Colombia High Court Paves Way for Gay Marriage Rights

Colombia’s highest court is paving the way for same-sex couples to marry in the conservative Roman Catholic nation. Gay couples in Colombia were already allowed to form civil unions, with many benefits of marriage including inheritance, pensions and health benefits. But the symbolically important right to wed was something that so far has been denied.… Read more »

Highest court in Colombia legalises equal marriage

The highest court in Colombia has paved the way for same-sex marriage by ruling in favour of equality. The Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday that same-sex couples have an equal right to marry. Earlier this month the court rejected an opinion which would have stopped public notaries from registering gay couples as married. The court… Read more »

Police use water cannons against Peruvian LGBT activists

Peruvian police on Saturday used water cannons against a group of activists who staged an LGBT rights protest. More than two dozen people gathered in Lima’s Plaza de Armas to take part in the protest that was described as “kisses against homophobia.” The group said that a Sin Etiquetas contributor was hurt during the incident.… Read more »

Peruvian Police Break Up ‘Kisses Against Homophobia’ Event With Water Cannons

Police in Peru used water cannons to break up a protest against homophobia. The annual “Kisses Against Homophobia” protest took place Saturday, February 13 in Lima’s Plaza de Armas. The protest involved over two dozen people and was organized by LGBT rights groups Promsex and Chola Contravisual. Activists said that the police broke up their… Read more »

Activist Roundtable by Question

The Bahamas – Erin Greene I joined CAFRA (Caribbean Association for Feminist Research in Action) in The Bahamas in 2000 and became the Bahamas’ National Representative for CAFRA in 2002. I am now the interim deputy chairperson of CAFRA. I was a member of CRAFFT (Constitutional Rights Reform and Facilitation Team) that conducted a six-month… Read more »

Gay Couples Celebrate Chile’s Civil Union Law

Still, others vow to keep up the fight for marriage equality. Santiago, Chile (AP) — Dozens of same-sex couples in Chile began celebrating civil unions on Thursday, taking advantage of a new law that gay advocates say is a clear sign of change in a country long regarded as one of Latin America’s most socially… Read more »

Former Uruguayan President Jose Mujica Say Recognizing Gay Marriage Is Accepting ‘Reality’

Jose “Pepe” Mujica, the former president of Uruguay, said this week that recognizing the marriages of gay and lesbian couples is simply accepting “reality.” Uruguayan lawmakers in 2013, while Mujica was in office, approved a number of liberal policies, including laws legalizing same-sex marriage, abortion rights and marijuana. Following a meeting with the president of… Read more »

Pope Francis Meets With Married Gay Activist In Paraguay

Pope Francis, the spiritual leader of more than 1.6 billion Roman Catholics, on Saturday held his first public meeting with an LGBT rights activist. Simon Cazal, executive director of LGBT advocate SOMOSGAY (We Are Gay), was invited to join the conversation with the pontiff as he visited Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay. He said that… Read more »

Colombia: the next battleground in the global fight for marriage equality

As the country’s top court prepares to rule on same-sex marriage, a man whose lawsuit has been hanging in the balance for two years hopes the landmark US supreme court decision ripples down to Latin America The US supreme court’s landmark decision last month legalizing gay marriage across the United States was the best news… Read more »

Pope Francis To Meet With Married Gay Activist In Paraguay

Pope Francis, the spiritual leader of more than 1.6 billion Roman Catholics, will hold his first public meeting with a married gay rights activist. The meeting will take place during the pope’s upcoming visit to Paraguay next month. According to BuzzFeed News, Francis will meet with Simon Cazal, executive director of LGBT advocate SOMOSGAY. Cazal… Read more »

Ecuador just approved same-sex civil unions

The Ecuadorian National Assembly has passed an amendment to its Civil Code which will legalise same-sex civil unions. The South American country passed the broad reforms, which also included raising the age of legal marriage to 18 and specifying criteria for marriage and divorce. Civil unions in Ecuador will be open to those of any… Read more »

European Union gives €500,000+ to help LGBTI people in Brazil start their own businesses

Micro Rainbow International secures funding through the European Union for a three-year project to help lift LGBTI people in Brazil out of poverty Not-for-profit social enterprise Micro Rainbow International (MRI) has announced that is has received funding from the European Union for a three-year project to help alleviate poverty among the LGBTI communities in Brazil.… Read more »

The Virgins of the Door: A Rare Glimpse Inside Peru’s Besieged Transgender Community

Maricielo had a chance to study the proofs from the first photo shoot by the time the photographers returned. A pioneer in Lima’s transgender community, she exuded a self-assured energy that demanded attention and respect. The artists had tried to capture that strength, to represent Maricielo as the leader and the role model she had… Read more »

For Colombia’s Gay Couples, The Struggle For Same-Sex Marriage, Adoption Rights Continues

Bogata (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – When Colombia’s Constitutional Court ruled that Veronica Botero could adopt her lesbian partner’s two children, the couple were ecstatic because their six-year legal battle seemed to be over. The ruling, handed down in 2014, was the first of its kind in the socially conservative Andean nation. But more than seven… Read more »

$228,425 NIH Grant to Study Syphilis Among Gay Men in Peru

( – The National Institutes of Health has awarded $228,425 to the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (translated it means Cayetano Heredia University), a private university in Lima, Peru, to study syphilis among gay men in that country. “Syphilis remains an uncontrolled infectious disease globally, with high prevalence and incidence in certain high risk populations, affecting… Read more »

Colombia refuses to equalise adoption laws for same-sex couples

Colombia’s Constitutional Court has ruled to keep the current limits on same-sex adoption. The court said yesterday that same-sex couples could only adopt a child if it was the offspring of one of the partners. Campaigners have reacted with dismay at the ruling. Senator Armando Benedetti, a supporter of LGBT rights, called the judges “cowards”.… 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 »

Conservative Chile Moves to Legalize Abortion and Same-Sex Civil Unions

The socialist government of President Michelle Bachelet in Chile achieved in four days what many once thought would take years — the approval of a civil union law for same-sex couples and a government plan that would decriminalize abortion. On January 28, Chile’s Congress passed a civil union law for same-sex couples and Bachelet has… Read more »

Chile’s Same-Sex Civil Unions Bill Gets Final Approval By Lawmakers

Santiago, Chile (AP) — Chilean lawmakers gave final approval on Wednesday to a bill that recognizes civil unions between same-sex couples. The legislation now goes to President Michelle Bachelet, who is expected to sign it. Government spokesman Alvaro Elizalde welcomed the bill’s passage as “a breakthrough that we are proud of as a government.” The… 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 »

Chile: Gay Marriage Bill Introduced

A bill which seeks to make Chile the fourth South American nation after Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina to allow gay couples to marry was formally introduced on Wednesday. The measure is backed by a coalition of lawmakers and the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (Movilh), the nation’s leading LGBT rights advocate. “In terms of… Read more »

Argentina Gay Pride and Gay Soccer Championships Combination Weekend

A Double Dose of Gay Celebrations in Buenos Aires Agentina is a leader in LGBT rights issues in Latin America, and indeed the world. In 2010, the country made same-sex marriage the law of the land. I was fortunate enough to be a witness to the signing of the law, having been there for the… Read more »

Gay Marriage Bill To Be Introduced In Chile

A coalition of lawmakers are expected to introduce a bill this week which seeks to legalize marriage for gay and lesbian couples in Chile. The lawmakers said that they would introduce the bill on Wednesday, December 10. The bill seeks to alter the definition of marriage in Chile’s Civil Marriage Act from “between a man… Read more »

Argentina grants first refugee status to Russian gay, victim of President Putin’s non tolerance policies

A young 28 year old became the first Russian gay to be given refugee status by Argentina, because of discrimination and violence at his home country. The positive reply to the year-long request was sponsored by Argentina’s Federation of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans, FALGBT. The refugee status was extended by Argentina’s Refugee Committee, Conare,… Read more »

Thousands Demonstrate For Marriage Equality In Chile

Several thousand people marched through the streets of Santiago, Chile on Saturday to demand marriage equality. Demonstrators marched from the Plaza Italia to the presidential palace at La Moneda. Luis Larrain, president of the Equal Foundation, told Reuters “[w]e are here to demand respect for our identity, for our rights, for our families and for… Read more »

I just returned from an extraordinary training in Suriname

I just returned from an extraordinary training in Suriname with dozens of brilliant LGBT activists who are working to increase safety and visibility across the Caribbean. I want to share with you the inspiring words of a 22-year-old activist, Paige Jennan Andrew, who wrote about the event: “Empowering and extremely fulfilling are the words that… Read more »

Brazil: Schoolboys wear skirts in protest after trans girl fined for wearing female uniform

A group of boys at a Brazil school have donned skirts, after a transgender girl was fined by teachers for wearing the “incorrect” uniform. 17-year-old Maria Muniz, who recently came out as trans at São Cristóvão do Colégio Pedro II, was disciplined by teachers and handed a fine after she wore a skirt to school,… Read more »

Sailor comes out in first for Chile’s armed forces

A sailor in Chile has become the first serving member of the country’s armed forces to come out as gay. Mauricio Ruiz, 24, told a televised news conference his decision had “not been easy”, but he wanted to help fight homophobic discrimination. Mr Ruiz said gay people had “no reason to hide”. “We can do… Read more »

Ecuador’s Rafael Correa Says Gays In Civil Unions Can Record Their Status On ID Cards

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said Saturday that gay couples in a civil union can include their status on national ID cards. Under the Ecuador Constitution ratified in 2008, gay couples are recognized with civil unions, granting them all of the rights of marriage except for joint adoption. The document also reserves marriage for heterosexual couples.… Read more »

Uruguay Celebrates First Anniversary Of Marriage Equality

Uruguay this week celebrated the first anniversary of marriage equality. According to the Civil Registry of Montevideo, which half of the nation’s 3.3 million citizens call home, 134 gay and lesbian couples have tied the knot since a marriage law approved by lawmakers took effect on August 5, 2013. However, Attorney Michelle Suarez, a legal… Read more »

The LGBT, feminist and student voices behind Uruguay’s radical reforms

From legalising abortion to transsexual rights, marginalised groups have united to become a formidable force for change One tiny country has been blazing a liberal trail across Latin America. In the past six years, Uruguay has introduced ground-breaking legislation on abortion, drugs, transsexual rights, and same-sex marriage and adoption. While President José “Pepe” Mujica and… Read more »

Felix educates LGBT on their rights

The Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) on Wednesday hosted a workshop to educate the lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Community of their rights under the laws of Guyana. The occasion was held under the theme “Know your rights: Citizens rights vis-a-viz Police powers” at Moray House, Georgetown. The workshop was facilitated by former… Read more »

Video: Violent repression of gay activists in Paraguay

Paraguay LGBT activists were assaulted by the National Police while protesting against homophobia during the “44th General Assembly of the OAS.” Paraguay -. Activists Monday This LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans) demonstrated in the vicinity of the premises of the South American Football Confederation in Luque , where he holds the 44th General Assembly of… Read more »

Gay Peru politician breaks new ground

A Peruvian politician has announced he is gay — a first in one of Latin America’s most conservative countries. He is Carlos Bruce, a 57-year-old member of congress and former minister and also one of the main drivers of debate on civil unions for same-sex couples in Peru. “Yes, I am gay and proud to… Read more »

Chile: Hate messages spray-painted on the outside walls of LGBT-rights organization MOVILH

This past weekend several of Chile’s leading LGBT-rights organizations held a “unity” march in observation of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia which, by some estimates, drew as many as 50,000 people. The country recently elected president Michelle Bachelet on a platform that includes debating marriage equality although she has since put it on… Read more »

Brazil gay rights advocates call for ban on discrimination in large annual parade

Sao Paulo – Gay rights advocates called for a Brazilian law against discrimination as they gathered by the hundreds of thousands in Sao Paulo on Sunday for one of the world’s largest gay pride parades. The city blocked its main central avenue to allow room for colorful floats and exuberant crowds of people dressed as… Read more »

LGBT Community Continues To Fight For Legislative Protection In Guyana

Guyana, a small South American country hugging Brazil, Venezuela and Suriname, remains adamant in its lack of protection for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. While there have been minor legislative triumphs there, same-sex sexual acts are still very much illegal and punishable by imprisonment. At the end of last year, Guyana’s top judge… Read more »

Thousands March To Support Gay Civil Unions Bill In Peru

Roughly 3,000 people on Saturday rallied in support of a proposed civil unions bill in Peru. Among those marching through the streets of Lima was the bill’s sponsor, Congressman Carlos Bruce. “This march is part of human diversity and our constitution allows this diversity to exist,” Bruce is quoted as saying by La Republica. “Now,… Read more »

Gay Chilean Man Dies Of Injuries Suffered In Homophobic Attack

Wladimir Sepulveda, a 21-year-old Chilean man, has died of injuries suffered in a brutal homophobic attack last October. He has been in a coma since, El Pais reports: SepulvedaAccording to the Homosexual Integration and Liberation Movement (Movilh) – the country’s largest gay collective – Sepúlveda was beaten by at least four suspects as he was… Read more »