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.
Ecuador is a paradise for scientists and tourists alike. Within just a 300 Km radius one can access almost as many ecosystems as all those found across the United States. Ecuador and Peru reached a tentative peace agreement in October 1998, which ended their prolonged border war. Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands are well known as a region of distinct fauna, famous as the place of birth of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Homosexuality has been legal in Ecuador since a 1997. The age of consent in Ecuador is 14 regardless of gender or sexual orientation. A fairly large gay scene has developed in Quito and Guayaquil. But Ecuador still has a conservative and macho culture, and homosexuality continues to be viewed negatively. Nevertheless, in 2008, a revised constitution included recognition of same-sex couples.
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