LGBT rights in Honduras

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LGBT rights in Honduras
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal since 1899
Gender identity/expression Unknown
Military service No
Discrimination protections Yes
Family rights
Recognition of
Same-sex marriage prohibited by constitution
Adoption Prohibited by constitution

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Honduras may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is legal in Honduras.[1]

Same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex married couples. Both same-sex marriages and adoption by same-sex couples have been constitutionally banned since 2005. Discrimination against LGBT people is illegal in Honduras under Article 321 of the Penal Code.[2]

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity is legal provided that it involves consenting individuals fifteen years of age or older in private, the same as for heterosexual sex.[1][3]

Recognition of same-sex unions[edit]

Same-sex unions are not legally recognized in Honduras. In 2005, the Constitution was amended to expressly ban legal recognition of same-sex marriage and to prohibit such couples from adopting or having custody of children.[4]

Discrimination protections[edit]

In April 2013, a reform to the Honduran Penal Code outlawing all forms of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity was approved.[5] The draft of the new Penal Code was introduced to the National Congress of Honduras by Mauricio Oliva on 15 August 2015. On 26 April 2016, Congress began approving each article one by one, and continued doing so throughout May and June.[6][7]

Article 321 of the new Penal Code reads as follows:[8]

  • in Spanish: Será sancionado con reclusión de tres (3) a cinco (5) años y multa de cuatro (4) a siete (7) salarios mínimos la persona que arbitrariamente e ilegalmente obstruya, restringa, disminuya, impida o anule el ejercicio de los derechos individuales y colectivos o deniegue la prestación de un servicio profesional por motivo de sexo, género, edad, orientación sexual, identidad de género, militancia partidista u opinión política, estado civil, pertenencia a pueblos indígenas y afrodescendientes, idioma, lengua, nacionalidad, religión, filiación familiar condición económica o social, capacidades diferentes o discapacidad, condiciones de salud, apariencia física o cualquier otra que atente contra la dignidad humana de la víctima.
  • in English: Shall be punished with imprisonment of three (3) to five (5) years and a fine of four (4) to seven (7) minimum wages, the person who arbitrarily and illegally blocks, restricts, reduces, prevents or defeats the exercise of individual and collective rights or denies the provision of a professional service based on sex, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, party membership or political opinion, marital status, belonging to indigenous and African descent, community language, language, nationality, religion, affiliation or economic family status, different abilities or disabilities, health conditions, physical appearance or any other discrimination that violates the human dignity of the victim.

LGBT rights movement in Honduras[edit]

The constitution stipulates that citizens have the right to establish and associate with political parties and interest groups, though initial efforts to register an LGBT rights group in the 1980s were met with government opposition or extended delays. The first LGBT rights organizations arose in the 1980s anyway, often in the response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Such organizations had no legal standing at the time and were essentially ignored by the government, except for police harassment.

In 2004, the Honduran Government extended formal recognition to three LGBT rights interest groups, despite organized protests from the Catholic Church, Evangelical Protests, and conservative legislators.[4]

The two major political parties have not expressed any support for expanding LGBT rights. Only a handful of dissident members within the leftist Democratic Unification Party have expressed some interest in working with the LGBT community.[4]

Social conditions[edit]

No national legislation exists to address discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.[9]:page: 88 Reports suggest that law enforcement often engages in or tolerates abuse.[4]

Anti-LGBT violence[edit]

Possibly as many as 200 Honduras people may have been killed because of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity between 1993–2003.[4]

International human rights organizations have stated that LGBT people have been targeted by the military government for harassment, abuse and murder.[4]

In June 2013, a transsexual woman was given asylum in Spain after a police officer tried to assassinate her.[10]

Walter Trochez, a Honduran political activist and LGBT rights leader, was allegedly assassinated on December 13, 2009, by members of the anti-Zelaya regime for organizing dissent against the new government.[11]


The socially conservative influence of the Catholic Church and evangelical Protestants has made it difficult for any sort of comprehensive public program to be implemented. Female prostitutes and men who have sex with men are seen as the highest risk groups. The government does offer medical care to all citizens and has been increasingly working with non-governmental organizations to raise awareness.

Public opinion[edit]

According to Pew Research Center survey, conducted between November 9 and December 19, 2013, 13% of respondents supported same-sex marriage, 83% were opposed.[12][13]

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes Since 1899
Equal age of consent Yes
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only Yes Since 2016
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services Yes Since 2016
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) Yes Since 2016
Hate crimes laws include sexual orientation and gender identity Yes
Same-sex marriages No Constitutional ban since 2005
Recognition of same-sex couples No
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly in the military No
Right to change legal gender No
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No
MSMs allowed to donate blood Emblem-question.svg

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b "State-sponsored Homophobia: A world survey of laws prohibiting same sex activity between consenting adults", The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, authored by Lucas Paoli Itaborahy, May 2012 :page: 12 & 14
  2. ^ Congreso contempla reforma al Código Penal por caso del pastor Evelio Reyes
  3. ^ "The age of consent in Honduras", Born in Honduras, 28 February 2011
  4. ^ a b c d e f Gay Honduras News & Reports
  5. ^ "Honduras reforms its penal code to end human right violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity". UNAIDS. 5 April 2013. 
  6. ^ "CN comienza a aprobar en primer debate proyecto de nuevo Código Penal para Honduras". Congreso Nacional de Honduras. 26 April 2016. 
  7. ^ "Seis meses podría tardar la aprobación de Código Penal". Diario el Heraldo Honduras. 18 May 2016. 
  8. ^ “DECRETO 144-83” CÓDIGO PENAL "Artículo 321. Será sancionado [...] la persona que arbitrariamente e ilegalmente obstruya, restringa, disminuya, impida o anule el ejercicio de los derechos individuales y colectivos o deniegue la prestación de un servicio profesional por motivo de [...] orientación sexual"
  9. ^ "State-sponsored Homophobia: A world survey of laws: Criminalisation, protection and recognition of same-sex love", The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, authored by Lucas Paoli Itaborahy and Jingshu Zhu, May 2013
  10. ^ (Spanish) Transexual hondureña recibe asilo en España tras intento de asesinato
  11. ^ "Honduras: Full and prompt investigation needed into death of human rights campaigner", Amnesty International, 14 December 2009
  12. ^ Religion in Latin America Chapter 5: Social Attitudes
  13. ^ Religion in Latin America Appendix A: Methodology