LGBT rights in Monaco

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LGBT rights in Monaco
Location Monaco Europe.png
Location of  Monaco  (dark green)

in Europe  (dark grey)  –  [Legend]

Same-sex sexual intercourse legal status Legal since 1793 (as part of France)[1]
Military service No armed forces, but there is a National Guard, also France responsible for defence
Discrimination protections Yes, hate speeches and incitement to hatred banned
Family rights
Recognition of
relationships
No
Adoption No

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Monaco may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are legal in Monaco. Same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex married couples.[1]

Monaco is the only country in Western Europe to have no legal recognition for same-sex couples. Nevertheless, society tends to be very tolerant of homosexuality and same-sex relationships.[2] Hate speech and incitement to hatred based on sexual orientation is banned.

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity is legal. Criminal penalties for homosexual acts were eliminated in 1793 due to the adoption of French laws.[1] The age of consent is 15.[3]

Recognition of same-sex relationships[edit]

Monaco does not recognize same-sex unions or marriages, being the last and only country in Western Europe not to do so.[4]

However, an interview in November 2010 mentioned that Jean-Charles Gardetto,[5] a member of Monaco's Parliament and lawyer, was preparing a proposition of law intending to legally define the cohabitation concept, either for heterosexual or for homosexual couples.[6]

On 18 June 2013, the opposition party Union Monégasque submitted a bill to Parliament that would establish gender-neutral cohabitation agreements.[7] The bill was immediately sent to the Women and Family Rights Commission for consideration. In July 2015, the commission's president stated that dialogue on the bill would begin in late 2015.[8] Originally submitted as pacte de vie commune, the bill was amended to establish a contrat de vie commune. The bill's rapporteur, Jean-Louis Grinda, who was one of the bill's sponsors, submitted his report on 7 September 2016.[9] It was noted that the Monegasque administration already recognises concubinage since 2008, and that the European Court of Human Rights considers non-recognition of same-sex relationships to be contrary to the Convention per Oliari and Others v Italy. On 27 October 2016, the National Council unanimously approved the bill.[10] On 27 April 2017, the Government responded positively to the proposal, and said it would introduce a draft law by April 2018, following elections expected in February 2018.[11]

A civil unions bill (French: contrat de vie commune) was introduced to the Monegasque Parliament on 16 April 2018. Under the proposed bill, common-law couples will be considered at the same level as siblings for inheritance taxes and not at the same level as married couples.[12]

Adoption and family planning[edit]

Same-sex couples do not have the right to adopt children.[4]

Discrimination protections[edit]

The Constitution does not expressly address discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. None of the active political parties has publicly endorsed LGBT rights. The Constitution does provide for general civil rights protections, including equality before the law, due process, privacy rights, freedom of religion and opinion.

Loi n. 1.299 du 15/07/2005 sur la liberté d'expression publique prohibits hate speeches, incitement to hatred and violence and discrimination against political candidates on the basis of their disability, origin, sexual orientation and of their real or perceived belonging or non-belonging to a race, ethnic group, nation or religion.[13]

In July 2010, a Monegasque court convicted a man to 5 days in jail and ordered him to pay a fine of 5,000 euros, after he used openly homophobic rhetoric against a gay man.[2]

In July 2011, the National Council of Monaco (Monegasque Parliament) adopted an anti-discrimination and anti-harassment la, going further than the 2005 law.[14] According to Monaco's legislative process,[15] if a proposition of law is adopted by the Assembly, the Minister of State has a six-month delay to let know to the National Council his decision about the future he intends to give to the text:

  • either he transforms this proposition of law, possibly amended (but without changing the spirit of it), in a project of law. In this case, he has a one-year delay since the end of the first six-month delay to lay it on the Assembly desk and this project of law will follow the procedure;
  • or he puts an end to the legislative process. This decision is explained by a declaration read in public session. This declaration may be followed by a debate.

Main articles concerning LGBT people were:

  • Article 1 clearly outlawed discrimination connected to, among other categories, "sex, true or purported sexual orientation or more, civil status, family situation"
  • Article 3 applied this prohibition to work in both public and private sector, contacts with administrations, access and delivery to goods and services (accommodation was not namely cited but included in this category), family relationships, access to recreational, cultural or public locations or events, among other situations.
  • Article 8 precised that these discriminations at work may not occur concerning access or working conditions, remuneration conditions, disciplinary measures, firing conditions.
  • Article 9 forbade, at work, sanctions, firing or discriminatory measures connected to Article 1 categories of people
  • However, work exceptions are considered, in article 10, if conditions about sex and religious or philosophical beliefs are essentially inherent, rational and proportioned to the proposed job. Church-connected jobs are here implicitly considered, but not the rental of Church-owned facilities, implicitly forbidden as discrimination to the access of services under Article 1.
  • Article 20 generally forbade, to all – employers and fellow employees –, moral or sexual harassment and violence at work, as well as discriminatory measures or negative work consequences connected to or in case of submission or non-submission.
  • Article 40 provided for penalties in case of defamation or non-public insult connected to true or purported sexual orientation, among other reasons.
  • Article 44 provided for the creation a school program of education and sensibilization against racism and all Article 1 discriminations, every year of primary and secondary school cycles.

The Government did not approve the bill, and proposed a new one instead on 18 December 2012. It did not include the provisions in regards to discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.[14][16]

Military service[edit]

Monaco has no armed forces, but there is a National Guard. France, which is responsible for the country's defence, allows openly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to serve in the military.

Living conditions[edit]

Most Monagasques affiliate with the Catholic Church, which traditionally views homosexuality and cross-dressing as signs of immorality. Monaco is not affiliated with the European Union, which requires its members to respect certain LGBT rights protections, but Monaco and its people have a strong cultural and economic relationship with France.

The LGBT community in Monaco does support some gay-friendly establishments within Monaco itself.[2] There are no official gay places to be found in Monaco, as there are in the nearby French cities of Marseille, Nice and Lyon.

In June 2017, Pauline Ducruet, the eldest daughter of Princess Stéphanie of Monaco and granddaughter of Rainier III, Prince of Monaco and American actress Grace Kelly, marched in the New York Pride parade, expressing support for LGBT rights.[17]

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes (Since 1793)
Equal age of consent Yes (Since 1793)
Anti-discrimination laws in employment No
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services No
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) Yes (Since 2005)
Same-sex marriage No
Recognition of same-sex couples No (Pending)[8][18]
Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
LGBT people allowed to serve openly in the military Has no military
Right to change legal gender No
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No
MSMs allowed to donate blood Emblem-question.svg

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c State-sponsored Homophobia A world survey of laws prohibiting same sex activity between consenting adults Archived 22 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b c (in French) La vie gay à Monaco… enfin presque
  3. ^ National Laws - Legislation of Interpol member states on sexual offences against children - Monaco[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ a b Rainbow Europe Country Index Archived 30 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  6. ^ Monacohebdo.mc, "Les cas de discrimination existent", question : "Vous aviez en projet de proposer un texte sur le concubinage ?", 8 November 2010 (French)
  7. ^ (in French) n°207 Proposition de loi relative au Pacte de vie commune
  8. ^ a b Homosexual unions could be an option in Monaco from 2017
  9. ^ RAPPORT SUR LA PROPOSITION DE LOI, N° 207, RELATIVE AU CONTRAT DE VIE COMMUNE
  10. ^ "Bientôt un pacs monégasque ?". Monaco Hebdo. 9 November 2016. 
  11. ^ "« Je suis une indépendante » - Monaco Hebdo". Monaco Hebdo (in French). 2017-07-19. Retrieved 2017-09-01. 
  12. ^ "n° 974 - Projet de loi relative au contrat de vie commune". 
  13. ^ (in French) Loi n. 1.299 du 15/07/2005 sur la liberté d'expression publique
  14. ^ a b (in French) n° 198 - Proposition de loi relative à la protection contre la discrimination et le harcèlement, et en faveur de l’égalité entre les hommes et les femmes
  15. ^ "Le projet de loi". 
  16. ^ (in French) n° 908 - Projet de loi relatif au harcèlement et à la violence au travail
  17. ^ (in French) VIDEO – Pauline Ducruet s'éclate à la Gay Pride
  18. ^ "n° 207 - Proposition de loi relative au Pacte de vie commune".