LGBT rights in the Dominican Republic

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LGBT rights in the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal[1][2]
Discrimination protections No
Family rights
Same-sex marriage constitutionally banned

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the Dominican Republic may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents.


Legality of homosexuality[edit]

Homosexuality in the Dominican Republic is legal. The age of consent is equalized regardless of sexual orientation to 18.

Recognition of same-sex couples[edit]

The Dominican Republic does not legally recognize same-sex unions. The constitution bans same-sex marriage.[3]

Social conditions[edit]

Homosexual youth in Dominican Republic might not find any space to live in society, neither is there appropriate educational programs or governmental methods of inclusion. The public image of LGBT members is minimized frequently to stereotypes. For this reason, most LGBT individuals choose to live closeted, which functions as the only way to be accepted as part of the society.[4]

Youth expressing their homosexuality frequently face rampant discrimination and life-threatening experiences, such as sex workers being harassed by police intimidation. Public displays of affection for LGBT individuals are banned from public places. There is also exclusion and humiliation in academic settings. From 2000 to 2010, the number of LGBT student dropouts increased 40%.[4]

In the summer of 2006, several gay clubs and bars in Santo Domingo were shut down at the request of the Dominican Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez.[5] In 2012, members of the police department crashed the Pride Parade in Santo Domingo and arrested individuals at the parade carrying the Dominican flag.[6]

Although it is not illegal, in the Dominican Republic, homosexuality is still generally a taboo. There is a lack of measures to combat and prevent discrimination against LGBT members as interest of the authorities to take action. The strong presence of religious morale conditioned a generalized phobia against homosexuals that targets mainly lower class LGBT individuals out of the closet.[7]

Prostitution became a generalized issue inside the LGBT community in Dominican Republic. Not having real protection against discrimination, or proper action on sex education and STD prevention, underage individuals are vulnerable to high risks of AIDS infection and many are led into the abuse of drugs. The inaction of authorities allow tourists from Europe and North America to sexually exploit the youth with lower fee rates in exchange of sex favors.[8]

Anti-LGBT violence[edit]

From 2006 to 2009, official sources reported the murder of at least 14 transvestite sex workers.[7]

Several personalities from Dominican Republic have been the target of hate crimes involving sexual exploitation and closeted homosexuality. Among them Micky Breton, a TV producer engaged in frequent sex encounters with a young male from a lower class in exchange for economic reward. Another is the case of Claudio Nasco, murdered in a similar situation at the hands of 3 young individuals he frequently paid for sexual favors.[9]

Others listed as victim of similar cases are film director Jean Luis Jorge, journalist Víctor Gulías, Dr. Jesús Díaz Almánzar, William Cordero. All of them dead in similar circumstances by young individuals that were asked for sexual favors in exchange of economical remuneration in a motel room.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ State-sponsored Homophobia A world survey of laws prohibiting same sex activity between consenting adults
  2. ^ "Worldwide ages of consent". 
  3. ^ (Spanish) Constitución Política de la República Dominicana, proclamada el 26 de enero 2010, Publicada en la Gaceta Oficial No. 10561, del 26 de enero de 2010.
  4. ^ a b Ismael Ogando. Factores de incidencia en la conducta antisocial de los jovenes homosexuales del Centro Historico de Santiago de los Caballeros. Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo, 2007.
  5. ^ Blabbeando: Dominican Republic: Gay bars shut down
  6. ^ "Police Interrupt Gay Pride In Dominican Republic Because Marchers Used Flag". 2012-06-06. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  7. ^ a b "República Dominicana: dos detenidos por caso de travestis asesinados" (in Template:Es icom). 2013-05-29. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  8. ^ César Medina (2013-12-24). "La prostitución masculina" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  9. ^ a b "¿Por qué acuchillan a los homosexuales?" (in Spanish). El Caribe. 2012-02-09. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 

External links[edit]