LGBT rights in Paraguay

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LGBT rights in Paraguay
Paraguay (orthographic projection).svg
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal since 1880, age of consent not equal
Gender identity/expression None
Military service Not banned
Discrimination protections None
Family rights
Recognition of
Constitution limits marriage and de facto unions to one man and one woman
Adoption Single persons not restricted

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

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity has been legal in Paraguay since 1880.[1] The age of consent in Paraguay is 16 for homosexuals, 14 for heterosexuals.[2]

Recognition of same-sex relationships[edit]

There is no legal recognition of same-sex couples. Since 1992, the Constitution of Paraguay limits marriage, de facto unions and the family to one man and one woman.[3]

  • Article 49 about Protection of the Family, states: "The family is the foundation of society. Its comprehensive protection will be promoted and guaranteed. This comprises the stable union of a man and a woman, their children, and the community formed with any of the ancestors or their descendants."
  • Article 50 about the Right To Constitute a Family, states: "Everyone has the right to constitute a family, in a formation and development under which a man and a woman will have the same rights and obligations."
  • Article 51 about Legal Marriages and the Effects of De Facto Unions, states: "The law will establish the formalities to be observed for the marriage between a man and a woman, the requirements for contracting it, and the causes for separation or dissolution and its effects, as well as property management provisions and other rights and obligations between spouses. A de facto union between a man and a woman, having no legal impediments to getting married and being characterized by stability and monogamy, produces a similar effect to that of a legal marriage, in accordance with the provisions established by law."
  • Article 52 about the Union in Marriage, states: "The union in marriage by a man and woman is one of the fundamental factors in the formation of a family."

In addition, Article 140 of the Paraguayan Civil Code expressly prohibits marriage between persons of the same sex.[4]

In July 2010, organization "SOMOSGAY"[5] announced their intentions to submit a same-sex marriage bill to parliament.[6][7]


Since 1997, the Adoption law states that single persons, of any sex, may adopt regardless of their marital status. Marriages and de facto unions between persons of the opposite sex, and single women have equal preference in adoption.[8][9]

Discrimination protections[edit]

In Paraguay, there is no legal protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

In November 2015, a bill to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, was introduced in the Congress.[10][11]

Gender identity/expression[edit]

In Paraguay, transgender people are not allowed to legally change their name and gender on official documents. In December 2016, two trans women filed a lawsuit to change their name, based on article 25 of the Constitution on free expression and free construction of identity, and article 42 of the Civil Code that allows the change of first name.[12]

In October 2016, the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare approved Resolution 695 stablishing that all transgender people may use their social name on medical records, medical history and forms. It also states that officials working in Integrated Networks of Health Services (RIISS) will be required to provide assistance and obligatory treat transgender patients with the social name with which they identify themselves.[13][14]

Military service[edit]

There is no official prohibition that prevents the entry of gays and lesbians into the Armed Forces of Paraguay and the National Police.[15]

In June 2010, the Chamber of Deputies rejected, by 42 votes against and 4 in favor, a bill that prohibited the entry of homosexuals into the Public Force, which consists of the military and the police forces.[16]

Public opinion[edit]

According to Pew Research Center survey, conducted between November 26, 2013 and January 8, 2014, 15% of Paraguayans supported same-sex marriage, 80% were opposed.[17][18]

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes (Since 1880)
Equal age of consent No
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only No (Proposed)
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services No (Proposed)
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) No (Proposed)
Same-sex marriages No (Constitutional ban since 1992)
Recognition of same-sex couples No (Constitutional ban since 1992)
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
Single homosexuals allowed to adopt Yes (Since 1997)
Gays and lesbians allowed to serve in the military Yes
Right to change legal gender No
Access to IVF and surrogacy for all couples and individuals No
Surrogacy for gay male couples No
MSMs allowed to donate blood Emblem-question.svg

See also[edit]


  1. ^ State-sponsored Homophobia A world survey of laws criminalising same-sex sexual acts between consenting adults
  2. ^ (Spanish) "OAS (Organization of American States) – Paraguayan Penal Code (PDF) (Law 1160/1997)" (PDF).  (1.04 MB)
  3. ^ "Paraguay: Constitución de 1992". (in Spanish). 
  4. ^ "ARTICULO 140 del Código Civil de Paraguay". (in Spanish). Retrieved 23 January 2017. 
  5. ^ (Spanish)SOMOSGAY web site
  6. ^ "SOMOSGAY". Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  7. ^ (Spanish)SOMOSGAY organiza el festival por la igualdad y la libertad en Paraguay
  8. ^ "Ley de Adopciones. Ley 1136 de 1997." (PDF) (in Spanish). 
  9. ^ "Instan a anotarse en los registros para adopción". La Nación (in Spanish). 21 September 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2017. 
  10. ^ "Proyecto de ley "Julio Fretes" contra toda forma de discriminación" (PDF) (in Spanish). 
  11. ^ "Expediente: Proyecto de Ley "Contra toda forma de discriminación"". Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  12. ^ "Mujeres trans inician trámite para cambiar de nombre". (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 January 2017. 
  13. ^ Color, ABC. "Trans podrán utilizar su nombre social en clínicas" (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 January 2017. 
  14. ^ "Las personas Trans podrán utilizar su nombre social en clínicas". (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 January 2017. 
  15. ^ "Gays en las FF.AA y en Policía: ¿No está prohibido pero no está permitido?" (in Spanish). Retrieved 1 March 2017. 
  16. ^ "Diputados rechazan ley que prohíbe ingreso de homosexuales a FFAA". (in Spanish). Retrieved 1 March 2017. 
  17. ^ "Social Attitudes on Moral Issues in Latin America - Pew Research Center". Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  18. ^ "Appendix A: Methodology". Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2015.