LGBT rights in Guam

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LGBT rights in Guam Guam
Same-sex sexual activity legal status Legal since 1978
Gender identity/expression Gender changes are legal
Discrimination protections Yes, both sexual orientation and gender identity or expression (employment only)
Family rights
Recognition of
Same-sex marriage since June 9, 2015
Adoption Yes

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in Guam have improved significantly in recent years. Same-sex sexual activity has not been criminalized since 1978 and same-sex marriage is allowed since 2015. The territory now has discrimination protections in employment for both sexual orientation and gender identity. However, Guam lacks a hate crimes statute, but federal law provides for hate crime coverage since 2009. Since the 1990s, there has been a visible LGBT social scene, with a handful of nightclubs and social functions organized locally. Gender changes are also legal in Guam.

Laws regarding same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Private, adult, consensual and non-commercial homosexual acts have been legal in Guam since a reform of the Criminal Code in 1978.[1]

Recognition of same-sex relationships[edit]

Guam became the first overseas territory of the United States to recognize and perform same-sex marriages in June 2015. On June 5, 2015, Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood of the United States District Court for the District of Guam ruled that Guam's prohibition on same-sex couples marrying is unconstitutional. She cited the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Latta v. Otter striking down identical bans in Idaho and Nevada.[2][3][4][5] The Legislature passed the Guam Marriage Equality Act of 2015 on August 11, 2015, making Guam's marriage laws gender-neutral.[6]

In 2009, a measure was introduced into the Legislature of Guam that would have given same-sex couples some of the same legal rights and responsibilities as opposite-sex married couples.[7] It was not voted on.[8]

Adoption and parenting[edit]

Following Guam's legalization of same-sex marriage, adoption rights for same-sex couples have also been legal. Additionally, lesbian couples have access to IVF.[9]

Birth certificates[edit]

In May 2017, the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services announced it would list both same-sex parents on birth certificates. This came after a same-sex couple were initially denied the right to list both their names on their child's birth certificate.[10]

Discrimination protections and hate crimes laws[edit]

In August 2015, the Legislature unanimously passed Bill 102-33, which bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in employment.[11] Federal law covers hate crimes on both sexual orientation and gender identity since 2009, under the federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

Gender identity or expression[edit]

Gender changes are legal in Guam.[12] In order for transgender people to change their legal gender in Guam, they must provide the Office of Vital Statistics a sworn statement from a physician that they have undergone sex reassignment surgery. The Office will subsequently amend the birth certificate of the requester.

Blood donation[edit]

Since 2015, gay and bi men in Guam are allowed to donate blood following a one year deferral period.[13]

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes (Since 1978)
Equal age of consent Yes (Since 1978)
Anti-discrimination laws in employment Yes (Since 2015)
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services No
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (Incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) No
Same-sex marriages Yes (Since 2015)
Recognition of same-sex couples Yes (Since 2015)
Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples Yes (Since 2015)
Joint adoption by same-sex couples Yes (Since 2015)
LGB people allowed to serve openly in the military Yes (Since 2011)
Right to change legal gender Yes
Access to IVF for lesbians Yes
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No
MSMs allowed to donate blood No/Yes (Since 2015; 1 year deferral period)