LGBT rights in the Northern Mariana Islands

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LGBT rights in Northern Mariana Islands
Northern Mariana Islands
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal for both men and women since 1983
Gender identity/expression Yes
Discrimination protections Yes
Family rights
Recognition of
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. The territory has no hate crimes statute, but same-sex marriage became legal with the Supreme Court's ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges.

Law regarding 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 in Saipan on July 22, 2015.

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes
Equal age of consent Yes
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only 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 marriages Yes
Recognition of same-sex couples Yes
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples Yes
Joint adoption by same-sex couples Yes
Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly in the military Yes
Right to change legal gender Yes [6]
Access to IVF for lesbians Yes
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples Yes
Conversion therapy banned on minors Yes
MSMs allowed to donate blood Yes

See also[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. ^ Vital Statistics Act of 2006, Public Law No. 15-50 of 2006 (in English). Retrieved on 12 August 2015.