Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in Argentina are among the most advanced in the world. Upon legalising same-sex marriage on 15 July 2010, Argentina became the first country in Latin America, the second in the Americas, and the tenth in the world to do so. After Argentina's transition to a democracy in 1983, its laws have become more inclusive and accepting of LGBT people, as has public opinion.
Argentina also "has one of the world's most comprehensive transgender rights laws": its Gender Identity Law, passed in 2012, allows people to change their gender identities without facing barriers such as hormone therapy, surgery or psychiatric diagnosis that labels them as having an abnormality. Because of the law, as well as the creation of alternative schools and the first transgender community centre in Latin America, BBC Mundo reported in 2014 that "Argentina leads the trans revolution in the world." In 2015, the World Health Organization cited Argentina as an exemplary country for providing transgender rights.
Societal acceptance is also very high. In a 2013 Pew Center poll, Argentina was ranked the Latin American country with the most positive societal attitudes towards homosexuality, with about three-quarters (74%) of those surveyed saying it should be accepted. The country's capital and largest city, Buenos Aires, has become an important recipient of LGBT tourism and has been described as "Latin America's gay capital". Nevertheless, reports of discrimination against LGBT people, especially youth, are still common.
While same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults in private had been legal since 1887, there were no civil rights laws designed to protect LGBT people, and public opinion tended to look down upon LGBT people.
During the nineteenth century writings on homosexuality treated it as a medical pathology, an accusation to be levied against political opponents or something brought into the nation by foreigners. The only public image of homosexuality was urban prostitution and public locations used for cruising. In 1914, a homosexual-themed play named Los Invertidos was forced to shut down, although medical journals were permitted to discuss homosexuality.
Police harassment of homosexuals is reported to have increased during the first military coup of 1930 which initiated the Infamous Decade. In 1936, a mass arrest of homosexual men prompted legislation to legalize and regulate heterosexual prostitution based on the argument that men were turning to homosexuality out of desperation. Reports on the policies during the Peronist terms (1946 to 1955) are vague and contradictory. In 1946, Eva Perón extended her personal protection to Miguel de Molina, and some reports claim Juan Perón ordered the police and the military not to engage in gay bashings.
The first LGBT rights organizations to be established were Nuestro Mundo (1969) and Safo (1972). Together, they represented the homosexual liberation front that sought an alliance with the political left in order to advance civil rights. The 1976 coup eradicated this movement and many of its members were among the thousands of "disappeared" people. The return to democracy in 1983 allowed for the creation of an LGBT rights movement. During this initial era of democratization, the first gay bar opened and the LGBT community began to become more open, with pride festivals, publications and political activism.
While not given official recognition until 1992, the Comunidad Homosexual Argentina publicly campaigned for the human rights of LGBT people. Since 1987, the rights of gay and bisexual women have been defended by Cuadernos de Existencia Lesbiana. Significant legal and social progress began to be seen in the 1990s.
In 2015, a judge reduced the sentence of a man convicted of raping a six-year-old boy, on the basis that the young child had a "homosexual orientation". Agence France-Presse reported that Aníbal Fernández called for the impeachment of the judges that made that decision, describing it as "one of the biggest disgraces we've ever seen in this country".
In 2005, following the institution of civil unions in the province Río Negro and the city of Buenos Aires, a judge ordered prison authorities in the Córdoba Province to allow conjugal visits between gay prisoners and their partners. The law approving civil unions for same-sex couples in both the city of Buenos Aires and the Río Negro Province was endorsed in 2003, and in the town of Villa Carlos Paz in 2007. In 2009, the city of Río Cuarto also began allowed civil unions. These unions provided many of the same rights and privileges as that of married couples, however, adoption of children were not included among them. Civil unions were eventually made legal nationwide on 1 August 2015 after the Código Civil y Commercial which replaced the former Civil Code came into effect.
An early-2007 poll showed that 75% of those surveyed in the city of Buenos Aires believed gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry, whereas 66% of Argentinans supported same-sex marriage in 2009, if consideration was given to the whole country.
In November 2009, a judge ruled that the prohibition of same-sex marriage was unconstitutional and permitted a male couple, Alex Freyre and Jose Maria Di Bello, to be married. The decision was hailed as a "legal first" by Reuters who said it was "setting a precedent that could pave the way for the Catholic country to become the first in Latin America to allow same-sex marriage". Freyre and Di Bello confirmed they were "the first same-sex couple in Latin America to get the right to marry". The Chief of Government of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri, confirmed the city's Government would not be appealing the decision. Macri said that the decision was "an important step, because we must learn how to live in freedom without hurting the rights of others", later adding that "we must cohabit, and accept this reality. The world is heading toward that direction". The wedding was finally suspended after another judge revoked the original decision in late November 2009 . Finally, on 28 December 2009, the couple got married in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego Province, becoming the first same-sex married couple in Latin America. They were supported by the Governor of Tierra del Fuego, Fabiana Ríos, who signed a decree approving the wedding based in the judicial rule of November 2009 . Because that decision applied only in the case presented by Freyre and Di Bello, other same-sex couples had to appeal to the Judicial Power, wait for the resolution of unconstitutionality and then go to Tierra del Fuego to marry.
Same-sex marriage was legalised in Argentina on 15 July 2010, after a positive vote in both the Chamber of Deputies (lower house) and the Senate (upper house). Same-sex couples are thus eligible for the same benefits and protections as opposite-sex couples (including adoption). Some cities also have civil union laws that continue to be in place as an alternative to marriage, but offer more limited rights. After the law was passed, Argentina became the second country in the Americas to legalise same-sex marriage, as well as the first in Latin America and the tenth worldwide, following Belgium, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Sweden.
Same-sex couples have been able to legally adopt since July 2010, when the same-sex marriage legislation went into effect.
Since 2013, lesbian couples have had equal access to IVF. A law allowing such procedures was approved by Congress 203 votes to 1 in June 2013.
As of 2017[update], no national law exists to expressly deal with discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, although the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires and the city of Rosario (the third most populous of the country, ruled by the Socialist Party) do include sexual orientation in their civil rights laws. On 13 August 2010, the Chamber of Deputies approved amendment to the anti-discrimination law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, but it was not voted by the Senate. New proposal was introduced in May 2013.
On 27 March 2015, a comprehensive federal anti-discrimination law was introduced in the National Congress by the leading LGBT rights group and several members of Congress. The bill's first debate in a commission was on 29 April, but it was later stalled. A new bill was introduced in the Senate in June 2016.
In 2012, Law No 26.791 amended the Penal Code adding life imprisonment to hate crimes based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
Article 80(4) of the Penal Code, based on "Crime against individuals" states that life imprisonment shall be imposed to anyone who kills for pleasure, greed and hatred based on racial, religious reasons, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
On 27 February 2009, Argentina's Parliament passed a broad military reform act. One of the provisions of the law allows gay, lesbians and bisexuals to serve in the military and bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation within the armed forces. The law became effective six months after passage.
Discrimination and harassment on the account of gender identity remain a problem, although the transgender community has become more visible and politically organized.
In 1997, the Asociación de Lucha por la Identidad Travesti-Transsexual was created to defend the rights of transgender people. One of its first victories came in 2006 when the Supreme Court overturned a lower court's ruling that had stated that transgender people did not have a legal right to organize and campaign for their rights.
In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that a 17-year-old had the legal right to go through the sex change process and have her legal documents changed to reflect the operation.
In 2009, Marcela Romero won the legal right to have her identity changed, and was given an honorary title by the Government. She was awarded by the Honorable Congresswoman of the year. Romero remains one of the leading advocates for the human rights of transgender people in Argentina.
In 2012, senators unanimously approved the Gender Identity Law. This law grants adults sex reassignment surgery and hormone therapy as a part of their public or private health care plans. The law also allows for changes to gender, image or birth name on civil registries without the approval of a doctor or a judge. In 2013, a six-year-old girl named Luana, who was designated male at birth, became the first transgender child in Argentina to have her new name officially changed on her identity documents. She is believed to be the youngest to benefit from the country's Gender Identity Law.
In September 2015, Argentina abolished its ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood.
Argentina is frequently referred to as one of the most LGBT-friendly Latin American countries.
A 2013 Pew Center Research opinion poll ranked Argentina the most positive Latin American country in regards to societal attitudes towards homosexuality, with about three-quarters (74%) of those surveyed saying it should be accepted. A majority of Argentinians support the legalisation of same-sex marriage.
Comprehensive sexual education remains a taboo topic in Argentina politics. As such it is difficult to implement a preventative campaign that will target the youth due to religious objections from clergy, parents and local officials. Likewise, while health care is the right of each citizen, it is often elusive for people living in rural communities. Much of the funding for public education and treatment has come from private charities, NGO's and international organizations.
|Same-sex sexual activity legal||(Since 1887)|
|Equal age of consent|
|Anti-discrimination laws in employment||(Pending)|
|Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services||(Pending)|
|Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (including indirect discrimination, hate speech)||(Pending)|
|Hate crimes law including sexual orientation and gender identity||(Since 2012)|
|Same-sex marriage||(Since 2010)|
|Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples||(Since 2010)|
|Joint adoption by same-sex couples||(Since 2010)|
|Lesbians, gays and bisexuals allowed to serve in the military||(Since 2009)|
|Right to change legal gender||(Since 2010)|
|Access to IVF for lesbians||(Since 2013)|
|Conversion therapy banned||(Since 2010)|
|Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples|||
|MSM allowed to donate blood||(Since 2015)|
The age of consent for sexual activity is obtained [at] fifteen (15) years.
Argentina has become the first country in Latin America to legalise same-sex marriage.
Frieder argues that sexual education is one of the greatest resources being neglected by the government.[additional citation(s) needed]
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