LGBT rights in Peru

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This article is concerned with the situation in the modern Peruvian state. For information about homosexuality in antiquity, see homosexuality in ancient Peru.
LGBT rights in Peru
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal since 1836-37[1]
Gender identity/expression -
Military service Gays allowed to serve openly since 2009
Discrimination protections Yes
Family rights
Recognition of
Adoption No

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Peru may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity among consenting adults is legal.[2] An exception was previously made for all military and police personnel, who could be punished with between 60 days to 20 years imprisonment or discharge from the forces.[2] However, in December 2009, the Supreme Court of Peru ruled that homosexual orientation or engaging in homosexual sex cannot be an impediment to membership of the police forces and the military.[3]

Homosexuality can also be used as grounds for separation or divorce. Laws meant to protect "public morals" are often used against lesbians and gays.[2] Society's attitude towards homosexuals is generally hostile and is heavily influenced by the Catholic Church. In the 1980s the founding of the organisation Movimiento Homosexual de Lima (MHOL) managed to bring about at least a slight change in the way the media treated homosexuality. Known LGBT persons may face persecution by the public. During the first Lima pride parade in 2002, most demonstrators wore masks to avoid persecution by the public.

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity[edit]

The age of consent in Peru has changed several times during recent years, and has been subject to political debates,[4][5] but today it is fixed at 14, regardless of gender and/or sexual orientation, in accordance with a 2012 decision of the Constitutional Court of Peru.[6] Articles 173 and 176 of the Criminal Code are the relevant prohibitions against sexual conduct with children under 14. Consensual sexual acts with youth aged 14 - 18 are not illegal, although there is a prohibition against using deceit, abuse of power or use of the vulnerability of a teenager to gain sexual access to a minor under 18. (Article 175).

Recognition of same-sex unions[edit]

On 26 July 2010, Deputy José Vargas of the ruling party Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana announced that he would introduce a bill legalizing civil unions[7][8] but in early 2011 the bill died in the Justice Committee because some of its members believed it would be necessary to change the constitution in order to approve the law.[9]

Months prior to the 2011 Peruvian general election, two of the main candidates for president, Keiko Fujimori and Alejandro Toledo, showed their support to legalize civil unions for same-sex couples[10][11] but neither of them won. The winner of the election, Ollanta Humala, has stated that he opposes legal recognition for same-sex couples.[12] On April 2014, legislator Carlos Bruce received a petition signed by 10 thousand people in favor of allowing civil unions for gay couples.[13] Bruce, who put forward the change in the law in September last year, hopes that it will alleviate the discrimination faced by gay Peruvians.

The bill was scheduled to be debated on April 7 in front of the Commission of Justice and Human Rights, but ultimately was postponed until after Easter. While the country has a history of rejecting bills that protect gay people, supporters and allies are hopeful that the Peruvian Congress will move forward with the bill.[14] In June 2014, bills taking on different forms of recognition, some with more rights than others, were discussed in Congress. After a dramatic debate, it was decided by politician Carlos Bruce, who had earlier announced to the public that he was gay, that the original Civil Union bill he submitted with more rights should be voted on separately from other proposals. More than one bill allowing for recognition of same-sex relationships will be discussed in the next parliamentary session which begins in August, though the debate was eventually postponed once more.[15]

In mid-December 2014, during the last week of the 2014 Legislative year, it was announced that the bill would be the first thing on the government's agenda in the new Parliamentary session which begins in early March of 2015.[16] On 10 March, Bruce's Civil Union bill was rejected on a vote of 7-4 with 2 abstentions and 2 absences in the Justice Committee. One senator called for Congress to reconsider the bill and the motion was scheduled for a vote on 17 March, but the meeting was suspended due to a lack of attendance by senators. Also on the agenda was an alternate proposal called a solidary union which was scheduled for a vote within two weeks, though the meeting never materialised.[17] On 14 April 2015, the Civil Unions Bill was officially shelved by the Justice Committee after receiving only two votes in favor of its reconsideration.[18]

Opinion polls[edit]

In August 2010, a poll revealed 21.3% of Peruvians approved same-sex marriage, with higher percentage amongst people from Lima and younger people.[19]

According to Pew Research Center survey, conducted between November 13 and December 16, 2013, 26% of Peruvians supported same-sex marriage, 65% were opposed.[20][21]

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes
Equal age of consent Yes(14)
Anti-discrimination laws in employment Yes
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services Yes
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) Yes
Same-sex marriage No
Recognition of same-sex couples (e.g. civil unions) 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 Yes (Since 2009)
Right to change legal gender Yes
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ottosson, Daniel (May 2009). "State-sponsored Homophobia: A world survey of laws prohibiting same sex activity between consenting adults" (PDF). International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA). Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  2. ^ a b c [1] Retrieved on 23 August 2007.
  3. ^ Author Carlos A. Quiroz (2009-12-10). "Peru's Constitutional Court ordered Police School to accept expelled Gay Student". Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  4. ^ Lindsay Goldwert (2007-06-22). "Peru Lowers Age Of Consent To 14". CBS NEWS. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  5. ^ "Pleno Reconsidero Exoneracion de Sedunda Votacion a Proyecto Sobre Libertad Sexual" [House Reconsidered and Excluded Second Vote for Project on Sexual Freedom] (in Spanish). El Heraldo. 2007-06-27. Retrieved 2010-09-02. 
  6. ^ "Demanda de inconstitucionalidad interpuesta por diez mil seiscientos nueve ciudadanos contra el artículo 1° de la Ley N° 28704 que modifica el artículo 173°, inciso 3° del Código Penal, sobre delito de violación sexual contra víctima entre 14 y 18 años de edad" (PDF) (in Spanish). 2013-01-07. 
  7. ^ (Spanish) Vargas afirma que uniones de hecho entre parejas del mismo sexo son "un derecho humano"
  8. ^ (Spanish) Legislador peruano anuncia proyecto para legalizar uniones homosexuales
  9. ^ (Spanish) Comisión de Justicia discutió la unión civil entre homosexuales
  10. ^ (Spanish) Toledo hizo polémicas declaraciones sobre consumo de drogas y aborto
  11. ^ (Spanish) Keiko difiere con Kenji sobre adopción de niños por parejas homosexuales
  12. ^ (Spanish) Perú: aspirante izquierdista Ollanta Humala se suma a rechazo de iglesia a bodas gay
  13. ^ 10 thousand sign petition in favor of civil union for gay couples, Peru this Week, 2 April 2014
  14. ^ "Peru Compiles Signatures For LGBT Civil Unions". HuffPost. 2014-04-10. 
  15. ^ (Spanish) La unión civil y unión solidaria volverán a debatirse en agosto en Perú
  16. ^ (Spanish) [2]
  17. ^ Unión Solidaria: Se suspendió debate del dictamen por falta de quórum
  18. ^ Unión civil fue archivada definitivamente por este Congreso
  19. ^ (Spanish) ESTUDIO DE OPINIÓN PÚBLICA A NIVEL PERÚ URBANO - Informe de resultados - (5 al 9 de agosto de 2010)
  20. ^ Religion in Latin America Chapter 5: Social Attitudes
  21. ^ Religion in Latin America Appendix A: Methodology

External links[edit]