Recognition of same-sex unions in the Americas is widespread, with a majority of people in both North America and South America living in jurisdictions providing marriage rights to LGBT citizens.

In North America, same-sex marriages are recognized and performed in Canada, Costa Rica, the United States,[nb 1] 23 Mexican states, and Mexico City. Elsewhere in Mexico, same-sex marriages are recognized by all states, and same-sex couples may get married in any jurisdiction via court injunction ("amparo").

Same-sex marriages are also performed in the Dutch territories of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, the Danish autonomous territory of Greenland, the British territory of Bermuda, and in all French overseas departments (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin and Saint Pierre and Miquelon). Furthermore, Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten recognize same-sex marriages performed in the Netherlands, and Aruba also performs domestic partnerships. The British Territory of the Cayman Islands also performs civil partnerships.

In South America, same-sex marriage is currently legal in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Uruguay as well as the jurisdictions of French Guiana, the Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. It will soon become legal in Chile, following signing of a same-sex marriage bill by the President in December 2021.

On 8 January 2018, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) ruled that the American Convention on Human Rights mandates and requires the legalization of same-sex marriage. The landmark ruling was fully binding on Costa Rica and set a binding precedent in the other signatory countries. The Court recommended that governments issue temporary decrees legalizing same-sex marriage until new legislation is brought in. The ruling applies to Barbados, Bolivia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Suriname.

Maps

Current situation

National level

Status Country Legal since Country population
(Last count, 2015 est.)
Marriage
(9 countries)
Argentina Argentina 2010[1] 43,590,400
Brazil Brazil 2013[2] 205,574,000
Canada Canada 2005[3] 35,819,000
Chile Chile 2022[4][5] 18,191,900
Colombia Colombia 2016[6] 48,509,200
Costa Rica Costa Rica 2020[7] 4,851,000
Ecuador Ecuador 2019[8] 16,278,844
United States United States 2015[9][10] 321,234,000
Uruguay Uruguay 2013[11] 3,480,222
Subtotal 679,336,666
(69.5% of the American population)
Marriage recognized nationwide; legal in some jurisdictions; allowed by injunction in others
(1 country)
† Country subject to IACHR ruling on same-sex marriage
Mexico Mexico 2010[12] 121,006,000
Subtotal 121,006,000
(12.35% of the American population)
Total 818,535,566
(83.65% of the American population)
No recognition
(20 countries)
† Country subject to IACHR ruling on same-sex marriage
Homosexuality is legal
The Bahamas Bahamas 379,000
Belize Belize 369,000
Cuba Cuba[13] 11,252,000
El Salvador El Salvador 6,460,000
Guatemala Guatemala 16,176,000
Haiti Haiti 10,994,000
Nicaragua Nicaragua 6,514,000
Panama Panama 3,764,000
Peru Peru 31,488,700
Suriname Suriname 534,189
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago 1,357,000
Venezuela Venezuela 31,648,930
Homosexuality is illegal but legislation is not enforced
Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda 89,000
Barbados Barbados 283,000
Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis 46,000
Homosexuality is illegal
Dominica Dominica 71,000
Grenada Grenada 104,000
Guyana Guyana 746,900
Saint Lucia Saint Lucia 172,000
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 110,000
Subtotal 122,558,719
(12.34% of the American population)
Constitutional ban on marriage
(5 countries)
** Homosexuality is illegal
† Country subject to IACHR ruling on same-sex marriage
Bolivia Bolivia 2009[14] 10,985,059
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic 2010[15] 9,980,000
Honduras Honduras 2005[16][17] 8,950,000
Jamaica Jamaica** 1962[18] 2,729,000
Paraguay Paraguay 1992[19] 6,854,536
Subtotal 39,498,595
(3.98% of the American population)
Total 162,057,314
(16.35% of the American population)

Sub-national level

[note 1]

Status Country Jurisdiction Legal since
Marriage
(79 jurisdictions)
Kingdom of Denmark Denmark 2016
France France 2013
Mexico Mexico Varies
Netherlands Netherlands 2012
United Kingdom United Kingdom Varies
United States United States 2015
Varies
Other type of partnership
(3 jurisdictions)
Mexico Mexico Varies
Netherlands Netherlands 2016
United Kingdom United Kingdom 2020
Marriage recognized,
but not performed
(3 jurisdictions)
Netherlands Netherlands 2007
No recognition
(2 jurisdictions)
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage
(2 jurisdictions)
United Kingdom United Kingdom Varies

2018 Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling

On 9 January 2018, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued an advisory opinion that states party to the American Convention on Human Rights must grant same-sex couples accession to all existing domestic legal systems of family registration, including marriage, along with all rights that derive from marriage. The opinion was issued after the Government of Costa Rica sought clarification of its obligations to LGBT people under the convention.[92] The opinion sets precedent for all 23 member states, 19 of which did not recognize same-sex marriage at the time of the ruling: Barbados, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Grenada, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Suriname. Of these, all but Dominica, Grenada and Jamaica recognize the jurisdiction of the Court.[93] However, states must each individually apply the ruling before it takes effect.

Future legislation

Marriage

Government proposals or proposals with a parliamentary majority

Cuba Cuba: The National Assembly and Mariela Castro have stated that same-sex marriage will be legalized through a change to the Family Code, to be debated in 2021.[94] President Miguel Díaz-Canel announced his support for same-sex marriage in September 2018.[95] On September 2021, the new proposal for the country's Family Code was presented, which includes the legalization of same-sex marriage. The new Family Code will have to pass a national referendum,[96] which will likely take place in 2022.

Mexico Mexico: A decision of the Mexico Supreme Court on 12 June 2015 ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional. The court's ruling is a "jurisprudential thesis" and does not invalidate any state laws, meaning same-sex couples denied the right to wed would still have to seek individual injunctions (Spanish: amparo). The ruling standardized the procedures for judges and courts throughout Mexico to approve all applications for same-sex marriage, and made the approval mandatory.[97][98] In September 2018, PRD Senator Juan Zapeda Hernández introduced a draft proposal to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide in Mexico.[99] Debates on same-sex marriage are ongoing in many of the eight states that have not yet legalized it.

Venezuela Venezuela: In October 2020, President Nicolás Maduro called on Congress to debate a same-sex marriage bill.[100]

Other forms of partnership

Government proposals or proposals with a parliamentary majority

Barbados Barbados: On 15 September 2020, the government announced its intention to pass a form of civil union in order to end discrimination on the island, and also said it would not legislate same-sex marriage without holding a referendum on the issue.[101] The government is also bound by the IACHR ruling on same-sex marriage, and it has not announced plans to repeal the buggery law.

Ban on same-sex marriage

Government proposals or proposals with a parliamentary majority

Panama Panama: On 16 January 2018, the Panamanian Government welcomed the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling for same-sex marriage and Vice President Isabel Saint Malo announced that the state would fully abide by it. Official notices, requiring compliance with the ruling, were sent out to various government departments that same day.[102][103] After a change of government, the National Assembly of Panama approved a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, though the changes were put on hold after a series of popular protests erupted over several controversial proposed constitutional reforms.[104][105][106]

Public opinion

  Indicates the country/territory has legalized same-sex marriage nationwide
  Indicates that same-sex marriage is legal in certain parts of the country
  Indicates that the country has civil unions or registered partnerships
  Indicates that same-sex sexual activity is illegal
Opinion polls for same-sex marriage by country
Country Pollster Year For Against Neutral[a] Margin
of error
Source
Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda AmericasBarometer 2017 12% - - [107]
Argentina Argentina Ipsos 2021 73% 10% [108]
The Bahamas Bahamas AmericasBarometer 2014 11% - - [109]
Belize Belize AmericasBarometer 2014 8% - - [109]
Bolivia Bolivia AmericasBarometer 2017 35% - - [107]
Brazil Brazil Ipsos 2021 50% 48% - [108]
Canada Canada Ipsos 2021 75% 8% [108]
Chile Chile Plaza Pública-Cadem 2021 74% 24% 2% [110]
Colombia Colombia Ipsos 2021 46% 17% - [108]
Costa Rica Costa Rica CIEP 2018 35% 64% 1% [111]
Cuba Cuba Gallup 2019 63.1% 36.9% [112]
Dominica Dominica AmericasBarometer 2017 10% - - [107]
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic CDN 37 2018 45% 55% - [113]
Ecuador Ecuador AmericasBarometer 2019 22.9% 51.3% 25.8% [114]
El Salvador El Salvador Universidad Francisco Gavidia 2021 82.5% [115]
Grenada Grenada AmericasBarometer 2017 12% - - [107]
Guatemala Guatemala AmericasBarometer 2017 23% - - [107]
Guyana Guyana AmericasBarometer 2017 21% - - [109]
Haiti Haiti AmericasBarometer 2017 5% - - [107]
Honduras Honduras CID Gallup 2018 17% 75% 8% [116]
Jamaica Jamaica AmericasBarometer 2017 16% - - [107]
Mexico Mexico Ipsos 2021 63% 10% - [108]
Nicaragua Nicaragua AmericasBarometer 2017 25% - - [107]
Panama Panama AmericasBarometer 2017 22% - - [107]
Paraguay Paraguay AmericasBarometer 2017 26% - - [107]
Peru Peru Ipsos 2021 35% 18% [108]
Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis AmericasBarometer 2017 9% - - [107]
Saint Lucia Saint Lucia AmericasBarometer 2017 11% - - [107]
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Saint Vincent and the Grenadines AmericasBarometer 2017 4% - - [107]
Suriname Suriname AmericasBarometer 2014 18% - - [109]
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago AmericasBarometer 2014 16% - - [109]
United States United States Ipsos 2021 59% 15% [108]
Uruguay Uruguay Equipos Consultores 2020 59% 28% 13% [117]
Venezuela Venezuela AmericasBarometer 2017 39% - - [107]
Opinion polls for same-sex marriage by dependent territory and sub-national entities
Country Pollster Year For Against Neutral[a] Margin
of error
Source
Aguascalientes Aguascalientes INEGI 2017 - 35.9% - [118]
Baja California Baja California INEGI 2017 - 30.7% - [118]
Baja California Sur Baja California Sur INEGI 2017 - 42.1% - [118]
Bermuda Bermuda OUTBermuda 2020 53% 35% 11% [119]
Campeche Campeche INEGI 2017 - 56.1% - [118]
Chiapas Chiapas INEGI 2017 - 58.7% - [118]
Chihuahua (state) Chihuahua INEGI 2017 - 36.4% - [118]
Coahuila Coahuila INEGI 2017 - 46.8% - [118]
Colima Colima INEGI 2017 - 39.2% - [118]
Durango Durango INEGI 2017 - 38.8% - [118]
Guanajuato Guanajuato INEGI 2017 - 38.7% - [118]
Guerrero Guerrero INEGI 2017 - 54% - [118]
Hidalgo (state) Hidalgo INEGI 2017 - 41.7% - [118]
Jalisco Jalisco INEGI 2017 - 34.2% - [118]
Mexico City Mexico City INEGI 2017 - 28.6% - [118]
Michoacán Michoacán INEGI 2017 - 46% - [118]
Morelos Morelos INEGI 2017 - 38.5% - [118]
Nayarit Nayarit INEGI 2017 - 38.8% - [118]
Nuevo León Nuevo León INEGI 2017 - 44.4% - [118]
Oaxaca Oaxaca INEGI 2017 - 52.2% - [118]
Puebla Puebla INEGI 2017 - 37.1% - [118]
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Pew Research Center 2014 33% 55% 12% [120]
Querétaro Querétaro INEGI 2017 - 32.4% - [118]
Quintana Roo Quintana Roo INEGI 2017 - 37.9% - [118]
San Luis Potosí San Luis Potosí INEGI 2017 - 38.6% - [118]
Sinaloa Sinaloa INEGI 2017 - 37.7% - [118]
Sonora Sonora INEGI 2017 - 31.4% - [118]
State of Mexico State of Mexico INEGI 2017 - 33.8% - [118]
Tabasco Tabasco INEGI 2017 - 56.5% - [118]
Tamaulipas Tamaulipas INEGI 2017 - 44.4% - [118]
Tlaxcala Tlaxcala INEGI 2017 - 43.9% - [118]
Veracruz Veracruz INEGI 2017 - 54.3% - [118]
Yucatán Yucatán INEGI 2017 - 43% - [118]
Zacatecas Zacatecas INEGI 2017 - 37.4% - [118]


See also

Notes

  1. ^ Excluding certain Native American tribes. (Same-sex marriage is legal at least in 42 of them)
  1. ^ Note: While listed here under “subnational level,” US Tribes are considered Nations both in a legal sense and when it comes to preferred language. The United States Government recognizes US Tribal Nations as “Domestic Dependent Nations” under the law in a government-to government relationship. Tribal nations exercise sovereignty, though Congress has ultimate authority under the Plenary Power Doctrine which is why tribal nations are placed here under an imperfect multi-purpose umbrella term[20][21][22]
  1. ^ a b Also comprises: Don't know; No answer; Other; Refused.

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