Homosexuality has never been punishable since Venezuelan independence, except under the “Vagrants and Thugs’ law” (Ley de vagos y maleantes) (pre-criminal behavior laws as in place in Europe and Latin America during the 20th century). In Venezuela, contrary to Spain, this law did not refer expressly to homosexuals. However, it was occasionally applied to homosexuals and transgender individuals engaged in prostitution, as well as sex workers in general as reported by Amnesty International. People submitted to this law by “administrative measures” could be placed under “re-educational programs” in special “confinement places” without trial, as has also happened in many other countries, including Spain. This law was declared unconstitutional by the former Supreme Court of Justice in 1997. The universal age of consent is equal at 16. Wiki
Venezuela is among the most urbanized countries in Latin America; the vast majority of Venezuelans live in the cities of the north, especially in the capital Caracas. The petroleum sector dominates Venezuela’s mixed economy, accounting for roughly a third of GDP, around 80% of exports, and more than half of government revenues. Venezuela contains some of the largest oil and natural gas reserves in the world.
Homosexuality is legal in Venezuela. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was outlawed in the 1999 Labour Organic Law. There is no legal recognition of same-sex couples. Venezuela is home to a thriving gay community. Since 2000, International Day of Gay Rights has been marked, while recently the government has began participating in Gay Pride Day for the first time. However, police harassment and homophobia in the workplace remain as serious problems. In January 2008 the Supreme Court of Justice in ruled that same-sex marriages cannot be constitutionally authorized. See gay rights in Venezuela.
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