Recognition of same-sex unions in El Salvador

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Legal status of same-sex unions
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El Salvador recognizes neither same-sex marriage, civil unions, or any other legally recognized union for same-sex couples. A proposal to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption was rejected twice in 2006, and once again in April 2009 after the FMLN refused to grant the measure the four votes it needed to be ratified.[1]

Constitutional attempts to ban same-sex marriage[edit]

In 2006, a constitutional amendment was proposed banning legal recognition of same-sex marriage and would also ban gay people from being parents. The measure was backed by the conservative Christian Democratic Party, the then president and several other parties; i.e. Democratic Change, the Front for Democratic Revolution and the National Conciliation Party [2] But was opposed, and thus defeated, by the FMLN. It failed to win enough votes to be formally ratified due to the FMLN legislators.

On 30 April 2009, the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador approved a last-minute constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex couples marrying by defining marriage as being between only "a man and a woman" and barring them from adopting children. Opposing civil rights groups have vowed to fight the measure, which still needed to be voted on by other branches of the government before becoming law.[3] The amendment eventually failed the same month.

On 25 April 2012, a same-sex marriage and adoption ban was introduced. The measure eventually failed on 8 February 2014 after only receiving 19 votes in favor of its ratification.[4]

On 17 April 2015, a constitutional amendment to ban on same-sex marriage and adoption was approved once again in the Assembly during its first reading with 47 votes in favor. To be successfully included in the country's constitution, the law must now be ratified by a two-thirds majority of the Assembly, or 56 of its 84 members.[5]

Enablement of same-sex unions[edit]

While the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front has consistently opposed attempts to amend the constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage, citing their belief that such laws are discriminatory, the party has stated that it has no intention to legalize same-sex marriage.

Public opinion[edit]

According to a 2008 poll, 14% of Salvadorans support same-sex marriage, while 80% were opposed and 6% were undecided.[6]

A 2010 poll revealed that El Salvador has some of the lowest support for legalizing same-sex marriage in Latin America at 10%[7]

According to Pew Research Center survey, conducted between November 9 and December 17, 2013, 11% of Salvadorans supported same-sex marriage, 81% were opposed.[8][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ", El FMLN sigue en contra de prohibir las bodas gay". 2009-04-28. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  2. ^ [1].
  3. ^ El Salvador Bans Same-Sex Marriage and LGBT Adoption Rights in Last Minute Constitutional Amendment
  4. ^ Attempt To Ban Gay Marriage Fails In El Salvador
  5. ^ El Salvador approves measures banning same-sex marriage, gay couple adoption
  6. ^ Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, El Salvador: Situation of homosexuals, including societal attitudes and availability of state protection and support services, 11 July 2008, SLV102872.E, available at:
  7. ^ Lodola, German; Margarita Corral (2010). "Support for Same‐ Sex Marriage in Latin America" (PDF). AmericasBarometer Insight 44. 
  8. ^ Religion in Latin America Chapter 5: Social Attitudes
  9. ^ Religion in Latin America Appendix A: Methodology