Recognition of same-sex unions in Venezuela

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Legal recognition of
same-sex relationships
Previously performed but not invalidated
  1. Can be registered also in Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten
  2. When performed in Mexican states that have legalized same-sex marriage

*Not yet in effect

LGBT portal

Venezuela does not recognize same-sex unions nationwide, though the state of Mérida recognizes same-sex civil unions in its jurisdiction.[1][2][3]

Recognition of same-sex unions in South America
  Same-sex marriage
  Other type of partnership
  Unrecognized or unknown
  No recognition, same-sex marriage banned by the constitution
  Same-sex sexual activity illegal

Court challenges[edit]

The same-sex related Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Unión Afirmativa (Affirmative Union) submitted in 2003 an Appeal to the Supreme Court for legal recognition of economic rights (pensions, inheritance, social security, common household, etc.) for same-sex partners. The ruling, issued on February 28, 2008 indicated that "same sex partners enjoy all of the rights, civil, political and economic, social and cultural rights- have not such "special protection" which could be binding for the Venezuelan state, in the same terms than married couples have. The ruling indicated that the National Assembly "could" (but was not bound to) legislate in order to protect such rights for same-sex partners.[4]

Legislative action[edit]

On March 20, 2009, National Assembly member Romelia Matute announced that the Assembly would legalize same-sex unions and recognize them as asociaciones de convivencia (association by cohabitation).[5] However, later in the same month, Marelys Pérez—chairperson of the Family, Women and Youth Commission—announced that no such action would be taking place; adding that although the Commission would debate the same-sex partnership initiative, it would be excluded from the current bill and likely wait for its inclusion into a future Civil Code reform or a future updated anti-discrimination measure.[6]

The changes to the law were postponed multiple times until May 2013, during a debate on a Civil Code reform bill in which LGBT activists submitted a proposal seeking to legalize same-sex marriage. It will probably be debated in 2014.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Venezuela: Situation and treatment of homosexuals; recourse available to those who have been harassed based on their sexual orientation (2004 - February 2006)
  2. ^ Venezuela's sexual revolution
  3. ^ Venezuela’s Sexual Revolution Within the Revolution
  4. ^ Gay Politics in Venezuela
  5. ^ Venezuela: Same-sex partnerships on fast track to being legally recognized, says legislator
  6. ^ Same-Sex Unions Not On the Table After All?
  7. ^ (Spanish) El Tiempo. En busca del matrimonio gay en Venezuela. Retrieved 13 January 2014.