LGBT rights in the Northern Mariana Islands

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LGBT rights in Northern Mariana Islands
LocationNorthernMarianas.png
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal for both men and women since 1983
Gender identity/expression Transgender persons allowed to change gender following surgery
Discrimination protections No
Family rights
Recognition of
relationships
Same-sex marriage since 2015
Adoption Since 2015

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in the Northern Mariana Islands face legal challenges and discrimination not faced by other people. Same-sex marriage and adoption became legal with the Supreme Court's ruling in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges in June 2015, however, the territory does not ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Legality of same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity has been legal in the Northern Marianas since 1983.[1]

Recognition of same-sex relationships[edit]

Same-sex marriage became legal in the Commonwealth on June 26, 2015, when the United States Supreme Court ruled that no state or territory may ban same-sex marriages. Prior to this, there was no prohibition on same-sex marriage in the law of the territory, nor do the statutes specify the sex of the parties to a marriage between citizens of the Northern Mariana Islands.[2] Other provisions assume the parties to a marriage are not of the same sex. With respect to a marriage involving one or more non-citizens, the statutes say: "The male at the time of contracting the marriage be at least 18 years of age and the female at least 16 years of age..."[3] Statutes concerning divorce assume that the partners to a marriage are man and wife.[4][5]

The first marriage between a same-sex couple occurred on the island of Saipan on July 22, 2015.[6]

Discrimination protections and hate crime laws[edit]

The Northern Mariana Islands does not protect people from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Additionally, the territory does not ban hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity. However, such hate crimes are banned federally under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.[7]

Lesbian, gay and bisexual persons have been allowed to serve openly in the American Armed Forces since 2011.[8]

Gender identity and expression[edit]

Transgender persons in the Northern Mariana Islands may change their legal gender following sex reassignment surgery and a name change. The Vital Statistics Act of 2006, which took effect in March 2007, states that: "Upon receipt of a certified copy of an order of the CNMI Superior Court indicating the sex of an individual born in the CNMI has been changed by surgical procedure and whether such individual’s name has been changed, the certificate of birth of such individual shall be amended as prescribed by regulation." [9]

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes (Since 1983)
Equal age of consent Yes
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only No
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 Yes (Since 2015)
Recognition of same-sex couples Yes (Since 2015)
Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples Yes (Since 2015)
Joint adoption by same-sex couples Yes (Since 2015)
Gays, lesbians and bisexuals allowed to serve openly in the military Yes (Since 2011)
Right to change legal gender Yes (Since 2007)
Access to IVF for lesbians Emblem-question.svg
Conversion therapy banned on minors No
MSMs allowed to donate blood Yes/No (Since 2015, one year deferral period)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gay rights map: Notes on the data". BBC News. February 5, 2014. Retrieved November 3, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Commonwealth Code". Northern Mariana Islands Law Revision Commission. Title 8 Section 1205. Retrieved April 21, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Commonwealth Code". Northern Mariana Islands Law Revision Commission. Title 8 Section 1201. Retrieved April 21, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Commonwealth Code". Northern Mariana Islands Law Revision Commission. Title 8 Section 1331. Retrieved April 21, 2015. A divorce from marriage may be granted ... for the following causes ... Willful neglect by the husband to provide suitable support for his wife when able to do so 
  5. ^ "Commonwealth Code". Northern Mariana Islands Law Revision Commission. Title 8 Section 1332. Retrieved April 21, 2015. In actions for dissolution of marriage, neither the domicile nor residence of the husband shall be deemed to be the domicile or residence of the wife.... 
  6. ^ Apatang officiates first same-sex marriage on Saipan
  7. ^ "Obama Signs Hate Crimes Bill". nytimes.com. Retrieved September 29, 2013. 
  8. ^ Obama certifies end of military's gay ban
  9. ^ Vital Statistics Act of 2006, Public Law No. 15-50 of 2006 (in English). Retrieved on 12 August 2015.