Current Status of Marriage Equality in SOUTH AMERICA
Updated January 2014
On 22 July 2010, Argentina became the first country in Latin America to legalize gay marriage. The law also allows same-sex couples to adopt.
Constitutional bans against same-sex marriage and adoption.
On 14 May 2013 the council overseeing ’s judiciary ruled that notary publics cannot refuse to perform ceremonies, a decision that effectively legalized marriage for same-sex couples throughout Brazil. The decision took effect on 16 May 2013.
A civil union bill (Acuerdo de Vida en Pareja) proposed in 2011 passed the Senate in January 2014 and is pending in the Chamber of Deputies.
Same-sex marriage should have become legal in Columbia after a 20 June 2013 deadline passed without the nation's lawmakers passing legislation to extend same-sex couples the same benefits guaranteed to heterosexual married couples. Dozens of same-sex couples attempted to register their relationships once the June 20 deadline passed, but were issued a document declaring their "solemn union" instead of marriage. The LGBT organization Colombia Diversa argued that there is no legal structure to recognize a "solemn union" in Colombia's family code, and since Congress failed to meet the June 20 deadline set by the Constitutional Court, same-sex couples should automatically be allowed to marry, as it's the only way to guarantee them the same rights and privileges afforded to opposite-sex couples. On 2 October 2013 the first gay union declared a marriage was annulled by Judge Eduardo Diaz; on 24 October 2013 the Superior Court of Bogota disagreed with Diaz' ruling and upheld the marriage. At the present time same-sex marriage is legal in Colombia and future appeals to the Superior Court's decison are as yet unknown.
In 2009 Ecuador became the first country in South America where same-sex civil union couples are legally recognized as a family and share all the same rights of married heterosexual couples. There is a constituional ban against adoption by same-sex couples.
Same-sex relationships have been reconized since 2005; same-sex marriage is not legal; adoption by same-sex couples is legal.
Civil unions, Pacte civil de solidarité, have been legal since 1999.
Same-sex sexual activities for males is illegal; no relationship protection or recognition.
Constitutional ban on civil unions and same-sex marriage since 1992.
Uruguay became the first country in South America to allow civil unions (for both opposite sex and same-sex couples) in a national platform on 1 January 2008. Child adoption by same-sex couples has been legal since 2009. President José Mujica signed the same-gender civil marriage bill on 3 May 2013 and marriages began on 23 August 2013.
There is no legal recognition of same-sex couples explicitly in the Venezuelan law. In May 2013, during a debate on a Civil Code reform bill, LGBT activists submitted a proposal seeking to legalize same-sex marriage. The Bill passed the first reading and will probably be debated in 2014. The bill becomes law if it passes the second reading.