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Same-sex sexual behavior:

2019-JUN: Ecuador
legalizes same-sex marriage.

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Western part of South America:
Ecuador appears in yellow.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3b/South_America_1879.png/256px-South_America_1879.png 1

About Ecuador:

Ecuador is a country in the North-West of South America. It shares its southern and eastern border with Peru and its northern border with Columbia. Ecuador straddles zero degrees latitude: the Earth's equator.

The Galapagos Islands, which are located about 1,000 km west of the South American mainland, are a province of Ecuador.

Ecuador's main language is Spanish. The population totals about 17 million. The size of the LGBT community -- those who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and/or Transgender, including those who will realize later in their life that they are LGBT, is probably about a million individuals.

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Steps progressing toward full equality for their LGBT population:

  • 1997: Ecuador decriminalized same-sex sexual behavior. 2

  • 1998: Ecuador made it illegal to discriminate against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender persons in employment and in the supplying of goods and services.

  • 1998: Hate speech based on a person's sexual orientation or gender identity was banned. It was the third country in the world to do this, after South Africa and Fiji.

  • 1998: The first gay pride march was held.

  • 2008: Same-sex couples were able to form civil unions, and obtain all of the rights of marriage, except the right to call themselves married, and the possibility of adopting a child.

  • 2013: Nelson Zavala is an evengelical pastor who is heterosexual. He competed with seven other candidates in the presidential election. He came in last, and was sentenced to pay the equivalent of more than US $3,000 in fines for calling gays "sinners," "immoral" and people who suffered from "severe deviation of conduct." He appealed the fine but lost. 2

  • 2014: Ecuador banned conversion therapy, a discredited, ineffective, and harmful treatment that attempts to convert persons with a homosexual or bisexual orientation to heterosexual. Violators of this bann can receive a seven to ten year sentence in prison.

  • 2015: Employers were banned from discriminating against people on the basis of the sexual orientation.

  • 2017: Diane Marie Rodríguez Zambrano became the first openly transgender person to be eleccted to the National Assembly. 2 She said:

    "After a fight of almost 20 years, gay marriage has been achieved. It gives us a guiding light for many other proposals on human rights." 7

  • 2019: Ecuador became the latest country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage, after Argentina (in 2010) , Brazil (2013) and Columbia (2016). 2 However, according to NBC News, Costa Rica and Uruguay have also taken this step. Various media sources state that the number of countries now having attained marriage equality ranges from four to six.

  • Muri Assunção, writing for the New York Daily News said that Ecuador is the 39th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. 6 Oscar Lopez, writing for Reuters said it was the 27th.

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S2019-JUN-12: Same-sex marriage is legalized:

Two gay couples launched a lawsuit "to obtain the right to marry in the country.

The Constitutional Court, located in Quito, -- the country's capital -- is described as the highest court in the country. On 2019-JUN-12, its judges voted five to four in favor of allowing same-sex marriage througout the country. The four judges who dissented felt that the changes should have been approved by the federal government, not their court. The five judges who made up the majority argued that everyone in the country should have equal rights.

Efrain Soria and Xavier Benalcazar were one of the couples. They have been together for 12 years. Soria suggested that other LGBT couples "... enjoy the happiness that comes from being equal, like anyone else." 3

Public authorities who perform wedding ceremonies will now have to marry both same-sex or opposite-sex couples.

The ruling should become effective by JUN-22.

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More eeactions:

  • Cristhian Paula a human rights activist, told CNN that the decision:

    "... recognizes a historic fight for equality in which every citizen has the same rights, with the same name. ... An institution like marriage is no longer used as an excuse to segregate and discriminate." 4

  • Mathias Wasik, director of programs at international LGBT rights group "AIl Out" said:

    "The victories we’ve witnessed in the last couple of weeks will improve the lives of millions of LGBT+ people around the world. ... We’re witnessing an important moment in history as these victories will send out positive shock waves across the world and inspire more activists to continue their fight for LGBT+ rights." 7

The timing of the court decision was remarkable. June is traditionally referred to as Gay Pride month. 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in Greenwitch Village, New York City which jump started the campaigns to bring equal rights to the LGBT community.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Image downloaded from Wikimedia at: https://commons.wikimedia.org/ Drawn by MarshalN20 [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/]
  2. "LGBT rights in Ecuador," Wikipedia, as on 2019-JUN-13, at: https://en.wikipedia.org/
  3. "Ecuador legalises same-sex marriage," Pink News, 2019-JUN-13, at: https://www.pinknews.co.uk/
  4. Kara Fox & Ana Melgar Zuniga, "Ecuador's highest court legalizes same-sex marriage," CNN, 2019-JUN-13, at: https://www.cnn.com/
  5. "Ecuador's highest court approves same-sex marriage," Associated Press, 2019-JUN-13, at: https://www.nbcnews.com/
  6. Muri Assunção, "Ecuador celebrates the legalization of same-sex marriage," New York Daily News, 2019-JUN-13, at: https://www.nydailynews.com/
  7. Oscar Lopez, "Ecuador approves same-sex marriage as LGBT+ groups hail landmark week," The Globe and Mail, 3029-JUN-13, at: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

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How you may have arrived here:

Home > "Hot" religious topics > Homosexuality & Bisexuality > LGBT laws > here

Home > "Religious laws > LGBT laws > here

Home > Religious hatred & conflict > LGBT laws > here

Copyright © 2019 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Original posting: 2019-JUN-13

Author: B.A. Robinson
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