Same-sex sexual activity became legal in the territory in 1980, but same-sex couples are not eligible for the rights and benefits available to different-sex married couples.
The first criminal law against sodomy was enacted in 1963. The law made sodomy illegal for gay male couples and straight couples, but did not address sex between lesbian couples.
In 1979, the legislature revised the criminal code so that consensual sodomy was no longer illegal, unless it involved public acts, prostitution, minors or people unable to give consent due to mental defect. The law took effect in 1980.
The American Samoa Code Annotated does not specify the sex of the parties to a marriage, but refers to the age of "the male" and "the female". It prescribes the use of a form in which the parties identify the parents to whom they are related as "son" and as "daughter".
Representative Sua Carl Schuster introduced legislation to ban same-sex marriage in 2003. He said he hoped to establish the territory's position clearly in order to avoid lawsuits like those in the mainland United States. Many supporters of the bill cited their Christian faith as their reason for supporting his proposal. The House Judiciary Committee voted against it and then the full Senate did as well.
It is uncertain how Obergefell v. Hodges may apply to American Samoa as its citizens are U.S. nationals by birth and not citizens. Talauega Eleasalo Ale, American Samoa's attorney general, said after the 2015 ruling that his office was "reviewing the decision to determine its applicability to American Samoa."
|Same-sex sexual activity legal||(Since 1980)|
|Equal age of consent||(Since 1980)|
|Anti-discrimination laws in employment only|
|Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services|
|Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (Incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech)|
|Same-sex marriages||(Pending) |
|Recognition of same-sex couples||(Pending)|
|Step-child adoption by same-sex couples|
|Joint adoption by same-sex couples|
|Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly in the military||(Since 2011)|
|Right to change legal gender|
|Access to IVF for lesbians|
|Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples|
|MSM allowed to donate blood|
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