Suriname, South America
Suriname is one of four non-Spanish-speaking states in South America along with Brazil, Guyana, and French Guiana. Suriname has the highest percentage of Muslims in the Americas. It received its independence from Holland in 1975. More than 80% of Suriname's land-mass consists of unspoiled rain forest. Since there are no sodomy laws in Suriname homosexuality is technically legal (not illegal) and there are no anti-discrimination protections. The age of consent is set at 18 for homosexuals, 16 for heterosexuals. The code section which criminalizes homosexual acts with someone under the age of 18 with up to four years imprisonment (Section 302) is "hardly ever enforced". Same-sex marriages, civil partnerships or domestic partnerships are not recognized. Open expressions of homosexuality are taboo, especially for men. There is less prejudice against gay women. "Matis" (intimate female friends) are an old and accepted practice amongst the Afro-Surinamers. There is a small gay community in Paramaribo and there is a gay cafe called Cafe XPO.
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