South America




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 The federal judge in Brasília ruled in favour of a psychologist whose license was revoked for… Read more »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 »

Guyana will not hold a referendum to decriminalise homosexuality, despite widespread reports

Guyana, the only South American country which still bans same-sex sexual activity, will not hold a referendum to give voters the choice to decriminalise homosexuality – despite media organisations claiming the opposite. The news published by several Guyanese local media organisations was a result of a misunderstanding of the government’s official position on the matter.… Read more »

Guyana to hold referendum on decriminalizing homosexuality

The South American country has been under pressure for years to change its anti-sodomy laws The people of Guyana will head to the polls to decide if homosexuality should remain illegal in their country. Located in South America’s north Atlantic corner, Guyana is home to about 770,00 people. It is the only country in South… Read more »

Guyana plans referendum on its anti-gay law

Guyana, the only country in South American with anti-LGBT laws, plans to put the issue of decriminalizing homosexuality to the voters. In general, LGBT rights activists discourage such moves, because human rights should be guaranteed by law, not dependent on a referendum of often ill-informed and homophobic voters. Guyana has an unenforced law that calls… Read more »

Guyana’s transgender activists fight archaic law

As a transgender woman living in Guyana, Petronella Trotman has grown accustomed to violence and daily abuse on the streets. But when she was physically attacked in January, while walking in Georgetown, the South American country’s capital, she decided to seek justice. “The young man came up to me and asked if it was me… Read more »

Buenos Aires dedicates Subway station to LGBTI rights activist

Is this the world’s gayest Subway station? Buenos Aires has dedicated its newest Subway station to an Argentinian gay icon. On Monday (20 March) the new station, now called Santa Fe – Carlos Jaúregui, opened on the city metro system’s H-Line. It’s considered to be the world’s first station to be named in the honor… Read more »

Transgender assault victim barred from entering court as Magistrate dismisses case

City Magistrate Dylon Bess, this morning, dismissed a physical assault case where transgender woman, Ronnel Trotman known as Petronella, was the victim. Bess, before handing down his decision, asked the public to leave the courtroom. Just as the assault victim, Petronella, was entering the court, she was barred by the court’s officers. The decision was… Read more »

Growing up gay in the Caribbean, I was in constant survival mode

On an island where everything from pop music to the church demonises your sexuality, you police your every move It is a strange thing growing up in an island called “Little England”. You inherit the legal system, the educational system and even the old English mannerisms and words. But you also inherit something far more… Read more »

The UN is set to assess violence and discrimination against LGBT people in Argentina

A UN expert is set to assess discrimination against LGBT people in Argentina. Vitit Muntarbhorn, the human rights expert who specialises in investigating violence and discrimination based on sexual and gender identity for the UN, will carry out the study which will see him visit the country. Muntarbhorn has said that he will look in-depth… Read more »

Watch: Gay cruise the Galapagos Islands with Nomadic Boys

Cute couple Stef and Seb invite you to paradise The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean. They’re found about 1,000km (600 miles) from Ecuador’s coast. This is the place that captivated Charles Darwin, when he first set foot here in 1835 and inspired his theory of evolution. We’ve always… Read more »

Ecuador transgender people vote for first time according to chosen gender

Ecuadorean transgender people on Sunday voted for the first time according to their chosen gender, in what activists say are signs of progress in the socially conservative and Catholic Andean nation. In Ecuador, men and women wait in separate lines to cast their ballots, which for years created uncomfortable moments for transgender voters who had… Read more »

Big Crowd Turns out for Colorful Gay Pride Parade in Rio

Tens of thousands of people have celebrated at Rio de Janeiro’s annual gay pride parade at Copacabana beach. Under a blazing sun, revelers wearing feathery costumes and wigs held up rainbow flags and danced along the promenade Sunday as music blasted from a half dozen sound trucks. Organizers said this year’s parade was focusing on… Read more »

Brazilian squatters offer shelter from anti-gay violence

A multi-colored gay pride flag hangs in a corner of a bare room in an abandoned Sao Paulo art deco building that was once the headquarters of Brazil’s social security agency. The room is home to several members of Brazil’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community seeking refuge from discrimination and hate crimes against LGBT… Read more »

The UN’s LGBT expert has advocated for a global partnership to end violence

He advocated for unity in his keynote speech at the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) in Bangkok. Vitit Muntarbhorn said: “resolute action is required to stop the violence and discrimination affecting not only LGBT communities but also the human rights defenders working with them… “this goes hand in hand with the… Read more »

Colombian Opposition to Peace Deal Feeds Off Gay Rights Backlash

For the president’s many opponents, it was never just about derailing the peace deal. As Colombia debated how to end 52 years of war with the nation’s largest rebel group, there was the soccer player from the beloved national team who condemned the agreement, singled out President Juan Manuel Santos and accused him of practices… Read more »

Chile’s Michelle Bachelet Promises Gay Marriage Bill In 2017

Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet promised on Wednesday that her government would introduce a bill giving gay and lesbian couples access to marriage in the first half of 2017. “My government has committed to submit to Congress a bill on marriage equality during the first half of 2017,” Bachelet said during a United Nations General Assembly… Read more »

NGOs: attacks on LGBTI people persist

Local activists concerned by continuing violence against minorities, echoing IACHR report Despite Argentina standing at the forefront of progressive legislation protecting LGBTI rights and its reputation as something of a “gay Mecca” for tourists in Latin America, there are worrying signs that the country may be taking backward steps in terms of violence, discrimination and… Read more »

Bolivia’s transgender citizens celebrate new ID cards

Feted by activists carrying a rainbow flag, transgender citizens in La Paz are celebrating their newfound right to register for identity cards with updated details under Bolivia’s new gender law. Transgender activist Pamela Geraldine Valenzuela was the first to do so last week during a ceremony presided over by the mayor of La Paz, Luis… Read more »

More Openly Gay Olympians Than Ever, but No Chinese Among Them

Beijing — Peng Yanhui is celebrating the fact that a record number of openly gay athletes are taking part in the Olympics, while ruing that none are from China. Fifty-two competitors and coaches who are openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex are participating in the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, according to figures… Read more »

Brazil Is Confronting an Epidemic of Anti-Gay Violence

Rio De Janeiro — The assailant struck as Gabriel Figueira Lima, 21, stood on a street two weeks ago in a city in the Amazon, plunging a knife into his neck and speeding off on the back of a motorcycle, leaving him to die. A few days earlier, in the coastal state of Bahia, two… Read more »

Discrimination Of LGBT Abound In Guyana

The reported suicide of a Guyanese Trans gender in Suriname has brought to the fore the burning issue of stigma/discrimination and its adverse ripple effects on the Local LGBT community. Mondale Smith spoke with head of an NGO that advocates for minority groups. Source – YouTube

Peruvians March For Marriage Equality

Thousands of people marched through the streets of Lima – the capital and largest city of Peru – for LGBT rights on Saturday. Marchers carrying rainbow flags and posters called for marriage equality. Organizers said that they wanted to send a message to Peru’s next president. “We want to push for full rights on recognition,… Read more »

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 »