In 2016, despite great odds against the dominant Catholic tradition, Colombia became the 24th country in the world to allow full marriage equality. It was not a happy day for priests and their fervent followers but a joyous one for LGBT citizens.
Being gay in rural Colombia is legal as well as gay marriage. But macho homophobia is still deep in the culture so LGBT people have to act with discretion. There are activist organizations that continue to advocate against homophobia and strive for social equality. There are colorful Gay Pride parades and festivals every summer.
Homosexuality has been legal since 1980. Same-sex marriage was approved in Colombia on 28 April 2016, when the Constitutional Court of Colombia ruled 6-3 vote that same-sex marriage was permissible under the Constitution. Acting immediately after the ruling the first same-sex marriage was performed in the country. Since 2007 the country has recognized same-sex unions as a viable condition.
Intro: a summary story about a small unusual country in South America that is culturally and historically not part of the continent. It is considered to be a Caribbean country yet is geographically part of the mainland of South America. It is mostly jungle with a thin veneer of development along the Atlantic coast.
Despite efforts by the UN and western countries urging Guyana to discard colonial-era British laws that criminalize homosexual behavior, the country has resisted modernizing its laws to align with more than 125 countries that do not have such laws. Although there has been free and unfettered freedom of expression (including tiny gay pride rallies),
French Guiana, officially called simply Guiana, is an overseas department and region of France, on the north Atlantic coast of South America. It borders Brazil to the east and south, and Suriname to the west. Its 83,534 km² area has a very low population density of only 3 inhabitants per km². The total population
Intro: From the Pacific to the Andes, Peruvian culture spans many civilizations across beautifully rugged terrain. It also contains different views of homosexuality. In Peru, sexual labels vary with an individual’s behavior and self-definition. Meanwhile the gay ‘scene’ in Lima has become quietly lively.
Ecuador has undergone a remarkable transformation in the last few years. On 10th August 1998 the constitution of Ecuador was reformed to “recognise the equality of all before the law without discrimination against age, sex, ethnic orgin, colour, religion, political affiliation, economic position, sexual orientation, state of health, incapacity, or difference of any kind.” There are now active LGBT ‘scenes’ in several cities, mainly in Quitos and Guayaquil but Hispanic machismo runs deep in the culture and homosexuality continues to be viewed negatively in general.
Downtown Centro Rio is inland from the beaches. It is the heart of the city where financial, legislative and political offices are located. These include Brazil’s first state-supported LGBT agencies that were set up to counter homophobia in the city–‘Rio Sem Homophobia’. Their offices take up a whole floor of City Hall. Centro also includes
Santa Teresa is the name of an uphill neighborhood above Rio Centro on Santa Teresa hill. It’s famous for its winding, narrow streets along which ‘upscale slums’ are mixed with middle-class houses and artist studios. Among the buildings are some elegant mansions left over from the more opulent 19th century. In 1896, the Carioca Aqueduct,
Rocinha is the largest slum (favela) area in Rio. It’s situated on the hills behind the city with panoramic views of the mountains and ocean. The people are generally poor but life in the favela teems with energy, enterprise, domestic activity, artwork, music (we encountered a spontaneous dance performance by a 9 year-old), day care
Christ the Redeemer is a statue of Jesus Christ on Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city. It is 39.6 metres (130 ft) tall and 30 metres (98 ft) wide. The statue has become an icon of Rio and Brazil. It is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone, and was constructed
Ipanema Beach and Copacabana Beach are a paradise for people watching, sunbathing and socializing. On weekends the avenues along the beaches are closed to traffic and they become great long promenades of people dressed in every manner of attire–including uninhibited men and women dressed in tiny swimsuits. The atmosphere is mellow, respectful, playful and friendly
Sao Paulo has significant influence nationally and internationally, in terms of culture, economy and politics. It houses several important monuments, parks and museums. It is also home to the world’s largest gay Pride Parade that happens every June (separately from Carnival in February). The last parade, held on June 6, 2010, attracted about 3 million
Brazil is a dazzle. Every aspect of this huge country overwhelms, challenges, stimulates or puzzles the first time visitor, which I am. I came for three full weeks and each day has been a unique chapter in my memory book–even just driving a car on the main highways here. Brazil decided decades ago, unfortunately, to
Intro: Homosexual men in Guyana are still finding it difficult to live free from discrimination and harassment in the capital of Guyana. Ignorance and bullying are common experiences for anyone perceived to be gay. From: CaribWorldNews December 1, 2010 By Elan Era John, Panos Global AIDS Programme Georgetown, Guyana Homosexual men in Guyana
Intro: Guest writer Jane McDevitt reviews the recent past and hopeful future for unmarried and LGBT couples in Uruguay under the new President Mujica. Uruguay was the first Latin American country to allow same-sex civil unions so human rights groups are eager to see what direction the new leader will take. His publicised liberal political
Intro: A guest author from Holland leaps across the Atlantic to far off Salvador city in Brazil where he finds sunshine, passion and willing companions to share languid days and steamy nights. He offers useful insights on realities of money, prostitution, LGBT venues, lesbians and pro-gay laws.
A native Paraguayan offers a brief overview of Paraguay and the modest lesbigay life there. This is preceded by a first person commentary of a gay Peace Corps volunteer about finding a community there. Also See: Gay Paraguay News & Reports 1986 to present (1) Building My Own Closet in Paraguay http://lgbrpcv.org/2012/01/28/building-my-own-closet-in-paraguay/ January 28, 2012
According to Transparency International, Uruguay is the second least corrupt country in Latin America (after Chile), with its political and labor conditions being among the freest on the continent. In November 2007 it became the first Latin American country and the second in all of the Americas (after Canada) to recognize same-sex civil unions at
The usual tourist route through Lima, Cuzco and Machu Picchu–beautiful and sublime. Peruvian territory was home to the ancient Norte Chico civilization, one of the oldest in the world, and to the Inca Empire, the largest state in Pre-Columbian America. The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century and established a Viceroyalty, which
Argentina is the second largest country in South America by land area, and eighth in the world. Its continental area is 2,766,890 km2 (1,068,302 sq mi), between the Andes mountain range in the west and the southern Atlantic Ocean in the east and south. Argentina has the highest Human Development Index level and the second
Intro: Catholic Bolivia is a difficult country in which to express lesbigay truth. Newly met friends there described to me their hidden lives and feelings in the face of strong religious prejudice, political disdain, family honor and macho military opposition. Following the first story about Daniel is a second short correspondence with a gay American living in Bolivia for a year; he describes his experience of trying to integrate with local gays in La Paz.