LGBT rights in Monaco

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LGBT rights in Monaco
Location Monaco Europe.png
Location of  Monaco  (dark green)

in Europe  (dark grey)  –  [Legend]

Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal since 1793 (as part of France)[1]
Gender identity/expression -
Military service No armed forces, but there is a National Guard, also (France responsible for defence)
Discrimination protections No
Family rights
Recognition of
Adoption No

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Monaco may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are legal in Monaco. Same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex married couples.[1]

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity is legal. Criminal penalties for homosexual acts were eliminated in 1793 due to the adoption of French laws.[1] The age of consent is 15.[2]

Gender identity/expression[edit]

Recognition of same-sex relationships[edit]

Monaco does not recognize same-sex unions or marriages, being the last and only country in Western Europe not to do so.[3]

However, an interview in November 2010 mentioned that Jean-Charles Gardetto,[4] a member of Monaco's parliament and lawyer, was preparing a proposition of law intending to legally define the cohabitation concept, either for heterosexual or for homosexual couples.[5]

On 18 June 2013, the opposition party Union Monégasque submitted a bill to parliament that would establish gender-neutral cohabitation agreements.[6] The bill was immediately sent to the Women and Family Rights Commission for consideration. In July 2015, the commission's president stated that dialogue on the bill would begin in late 2015.[7] Originally submitted as pacte de vie commune, the bill was amended to establish a contrat de vie commune. The bill's rapporteur, Jean-Louis Grinda, who was one of the bill's sponsors, submitted his report on 7 September 2016.[8] It was noted that the Monegasque administration already recognises concubinage since 2008, and that the European Court of Human Rights considers non-recognition of same-sex relationships to be contrary to the Convention per Oliari and Others v Italy. On 27 October 2016, the National Council unanimously approved the bill.[9] On 27 April 2017, the government responded positively to the proposal, and said it would introduce a draft law by April 2018, following elections expected in February 2018.[10]

Military Service[edit]

Monaco has no armed forces, but there is a National Guard. France, which is responsible for the country's defence, allows openly gay, lesbian and bisexual people to serve in the military.

Adoption and family planning[edit]

Same-sex couples do not have the right to adopt children.[3]

Legal protections[edit]

The Constitution does not expressly address discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. None of the active political parties have publicly endorsed LGBT rights. The Constitution does provide for general civil rights protections, including equality before the law, due process, privacy rights, freedom of religion and opinion.

In July 2011, the National Council of Monaco (Monagasque Parliament) adopted an anti-discrimination and anti-harassment proposition of law.[11] According to Monaco's legislative process,[12] if a proposition of law is adopted by the Assembly, the Minister of State has a six-month delay to let know to the National Council his decision about the future he intends to give to the text:

  • either he transforms this proposition of law, possibly amended (but without changing the spirit of it), in a project of law. In this case, he has a one-year delay since the end of the first six-month delay to lay it on the Assembly desk and this project of law will follow the procedure;
  • or he puts an end to the legislative process. This decision is explained by a declaration read in public session. This declaration may be followed by a debate.

Main articles concerning LGBT people were:

  • Article 1 clearly outlawed discrimination connected to, among other categories, "sex, true or purported sexual orientation or mores, civil status, family situation"
  • Article 3 applied this prohibition to work in both public and private sector, contacts with administration, access and delivery to goods and services (accommodation was not namely cited but included in this category), family relationships, access to recreational, cultural or public locations or events, among other situations.
  • Article 8 precised that these discriminations at work may not occur concerning : access or working conditions, remuneration conditions, disciplinary measures, firing conditions.
  • Article 9 forbided, at work, sanctions, firing or discriminatory measures connected to Article 1 categories of people
  • However, work exceptions are considered, in article 10, if conditions about sex and religious or philosophical beliefs are essentially inherent, rational and proportioned to the proposed job. Church-connected jobs are here implicitly considered, but not the rental of Church-owned facilities, implicitly forbidden as discrimination to the access of services under Article 1.
  • Article 20 generally forbided, to all – employers and fellow employees –, moral or sexual harassment and violence at work, as well as discriminatory measures or negative work consequences connected to or in case of submission or non-submission.
  • Article 40 provided for penalties in case of defamation or non-public insult connected to true or purported sexual orientation, among other reasons.
  • Article 44 provided for the creation a school program of education and sensibilization against racism and all Article 1 discriminations, every year of primary and secondary school cycles.

The government did not approve the bill, and proposed the new one instead on 18 December 2012. It does not include the provisions in regard to discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.[11][13]

Living conditions[edit]

Most Monagasques affiliate with the Catholic Church, which traditionally views homosexuality and cross-dressing as signs of immorality. Monaco is not affiliated with the European Union, which requires its members to respect certain LGBT-rights protections, but Monaco and its people have a strong cultural and economic relationship with France.

The LGBT community in Monaco does support some gay-friendly establishments within Monaco itself.[14] There are no official gay places to be found in Monaco, as there are in the nearby French cities Marseille, Nice and Lyon.

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes (Since 1793)
Equal age of consent Yes (Since 1793)
Anti-discrimination laws in hate speech and violence Yes (Since 2005)[15]
Anti-discrimination laws in employment No
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services No
Same-sex marriage No
Recognition of same-sex couples No (Pending)[7][16]
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 Yes
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]