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Policy Update: Same Sex—Rights to Get Married

March 31, 2008

To marry or not to marry?” For Latin America’s gays and lesbians this is not the existential dilemma that it is for most heterosexual couples. It is the object of an intense political struggle waged country by country. With some notable exceptions, same-sex couples across the region cannot enjoy conjugal or parental rights.

At the same time, homosexuality is not illegal in any country in Latin America except Guyana. In Cuba, the legal status of lesbians and gays is somewhat ambiguous. This situates the region somewhere in the middle ground of global attitudes—more liberal than Africa and Asia, but much less tolerant than Europe. But for those facing discrimination, that is small comfort.

Some of the region’s most enlightened laws for lesbians and gays...

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Luiz Mello is a sociologist at the Universidade Federal de Goiás, Anna Paula Uziel is a psychologist at the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, and Miriam Grossi is an anthropologist at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina.