Homosexuality in Macau

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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Macau, which is a special administrative region of China, may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. While same-sex sexual activity was decriminalized in 1996[1], same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples remain ineligible for some legal rights available to opposite-sex couples.

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity became legal in 1996. The general age of consent for homosexual sex, as well as heterosexual, is 14 years.

According to "Penal Code of Macau" Article 166, committing anal coitus with whomever under the age of 14 is a crime and shall be punished by imprisonment between 3 and up 10 years. If anal coitus is committed with someone 14 to 16 years old, taking advantage of his/her inexperience, is a crime punished with a prison term up to 4 years.

Recognition of same-sex relationships[edit]

Same-sex marriage or civil unions are not currently recognised in Macau.

In March 2013, José Pereira Coutinho, a Member of the Legislative Assembly, submitted a bill to the Legislative Assembly to recognize same-sex civil unions, granting them the same rights as heterosexual couples, except the right to adopt. The bill was rejected with the sole vote of Coutinho in favor, 17 votes against and 4 abstentions

Discrimination protection[edit]

The Basic Law of Macau's Article 25 indicates the people of Macau are free from discrimination based on a non-exhaustive list of prohibited factors. Sexual orientation is not included in said list of prohibited discrimination grounds. However, there are anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation in the fields of labour relations (article 6/2 of the Law No. 7/2008),[2][3][a] protection of personal data (article 7/1,2 of Law No. 8/2005),[b] and ombudsman (article 31-A of Law No. 4/2012).[c]

LGBT rights activism and culture[edit]

In late 2012 it was announced the creation of the "Macau LGBT Rights Concern Group", led by openly gay politician Jason Chao. Since the creation of the Concern Group it has had an active presence in local media advocating for LGBT rights, namely the inclusion of gay couples in the domestic violence bill and the recognition of same-sex marriage or civil unions. In April 2013 was created the association "Rainbow of Macau", a new group striving to protect the rights of Macau's LGBT community. The Rainbow of Macau is the city's first gay rights group officially registered and is led by Anthony Lam Ka Long.

Despite the surge in LGBT activism, gay culture in Macau remains mostly invisible. However, the lesbian-themed movie I'm here, directed by Tracy Choi, won the Macau Indies 2012 Jury's Award at the Macau International Film and Video Festival 2012 (MIFVF). According to the newspaper Macau Daily Times, "the movie depicts the problems that homosexuals face in their daily life, especially when living in a small town" like Macau.

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes (since 1996)
Equal age of consent Yes
Anti-discrimination laws in employment Yes (Since 2008) [4]
Anti-discrimination laws in provision of goods and services No
Anti-discrimination laws in indirect discrimination, hate speech and hate violence No
Same-sex marriages No
Recognition of same-sex couples (e.g. civil partnerships) No
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
LGBT people allowed to serve openly in the military Emblem-question.svg (China is responsible for defense)
Right to change legal gender Emblem-question.svg
Intersex minors protected from invasive surgical procedures No
Third gender option No
Conversion therapy banned on minors No
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Automatic parenthood for both spouses after birth No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

See also[edit]


  2. ^ http://www.macaolaw.gov.mo/cn/search/load_content.asp?lang=chin&tpLeg=14&noLeg=7/2008
  3. ^ "愛瞞日報 Macau Concealers". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  4. ^ http://www.macaolaw.gov.mo/cn/search/load_content.asp?lang=chin&tpLeg=14&noLeg=7/2008

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