LGBT rights in Vanuatu

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LGBT rights in Vanuatu
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal[1]
Discrimination protections Yes, some employment protections
Family rights
Recognition of
Adoption No

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Vanuatu may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex married couples.

In 2011, Vanuatu signed the "joint statement on ending acts of violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity" at the United Nations, condemning violence and discrimination against LGBT people.[2]

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Vanuatu. Since 2007, the age of consent is equal, regardless of sex.[1]

Recognition of same-sex relationships[edit]

Vanuatu does not recognise same-sex unions in any form.[3][4]

In October 2013, the Minister for Internal Affairs issued a warning, which said that pastors are not allowed to preside over same-sex marriages.[5]

Discrimination protections[edit]

There is no legal protection against all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.[6]

There is no general prohibition of employment discrimination based on sexual orientation in Vanuatu. However, Section 18.2(f) of the Teaching Service Act 2013 establishes the obligation of the Vanuatu Teaching Service Commission not to discriminate in recruitment, promotion, professional development, transfer and all other aspects of the management of its employees on the basis of "sexual preference".[7][8]

Social conditions[edit]

Vanuatu is a socially conservative country. Gay and lesbian travellers (and citizens) are advised to avoid public displays of affection. There is no active gay scene in Vanuatu.[9]

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes (Since 2007)
Equal age of consent Yes (Since 2007)
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only Yes/No (Since 2013; some protections)
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services No
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (Incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) No
Same-sex marriages No
Recognition of same-sex couples No
Stepchild 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
Right to change legal gender No
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

See also[edit]