Uruguay LGBT Laws

Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

Article 272 suggests that consensual sex between same-sex couples under 15 years is unlawful [R1.1].

R1.1 Interpol: Sexual offences against children Spring 06
Assisted Reproduction Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

In 2008, Uruguay was believed to be amongst those countries which prohibit artificial insemination treatment for single women and women in a same-sex relationship [R1.1].

R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 109.64kb, NOV 08
Civil Unions, Partners Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

In December 2007, Uruguay became the first Latin American country to recognize gay civil unions, after President Tabare Vazquez … signed a law granting legal rights to cohabiting couples of any gender [R1.2].

The new law refers to “two people – of any sex, identity, orientation or sexual option – who maintain an emotional relationship sexual in nature, that is exclusive, stable and permanent, without being united in matrimony” [R1.1]

Under the legislation couples have be together for at least five years and sign a registry. The couples receive heath benefits, inheritance, parenting and pension rights [R1.1].

R1.2 MCV: Welcome to Uruguay 03 JAN 08
R1.1 PinkNews: Uruguay’s First Gay Union, Four Months After They Became Legal 21 APR 08
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

In 2004, discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment and other areas was made unlawful [R1.3].

In November 2001, Uruguay’s Chamber of Deputies unanimously approved amendment to the Penal Code [R1.2] that will incorporate sexual orientation and sexual or gender identity to the list of minorities protected against acts of discrimination, and against moral, physical or psychological violence [R1.1].

The bill then went to the Senate.

R1.3 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 109.64kb, NOV 08
R1.2 Sydney Xpress News: Anti-Discrim Measures Approved 01 NOV 01
R1.1 IGLHRC: Uruguay to Consider Amending Anti-Discrimination Laws 09 OCT 01
Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual
1. National

On 19 October 2018, it was reported that the Congress had approved a law that guarantees rights to the South American country’s transgender community. Lawmakers in the lower house voted in favor of the measure late Thursday. It had already been approved by the Senate. The law grants transgender people the right to get an operation that matches their sexual identity. It will be paid by the Uruguayan state along with hormone treatments. The law also mandates that 1 per cent of government jobs be reserved for transgender people in the next 15 years and establishes a pension to compensate transgender people who were persecuted during Uruguay’s 1973-1985 military dictatorship [R1.2].

In October 2009, trans men and women over the age of 18 will be permitted to legally change their name and gender under a new bill passed by the government, once it is signed by president Tabare Vasquez [R1.1].

R1.2 14news: Uruguay passes law granting rights to trans people 19 OCT 18
R1.1 PinkNews.co.uk: Uruguay approves bill to allow trans people to change names and gender 13 OCT 09
Hate Crimes Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

In 2003, hate crimes based on sexual orientation became considered an aggravating circumstance [R1.1]

R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

In 1934, consensual sex between same-sex couples was lawful [R1.1]

R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

On 03 May 2013, President Jose Mujica and Ricardo Ehrlich, the nation’s minister of education and culture, promulgated the “Marriage Equality Law” with their signatures. The law was to take effect on 01 August [R1.10] but actually took effect on 05 August [R1.9]..

On 10 April 2013, the Lower House voted 71-21 to pass a same-sex marriage bill. The country’s president, José Mujica, has already indicated that he will sign it into law. The measure to raise the minimum age for marriage to 16 for everyone, instead of the present age 12 for girls and 14 for boys [R1.8].

On 02 April 2013, the Senate (Camara de Senadores) voted 23–8 for the ‘Marriage Equality’ bill stating that ‘marriage is the permanent union between two persons of the same or opposite sex’. The lower house is expected to vote and pass the modified bill within two weeks following which the government has up to 90 days to implement it, after which President José Mujica has to sign it officially into law [R1.7].

On 12 December 2012, the lower house Chamber of Deputies voted 81–6 approving the single “Marriage Equality Law” for both heterosexuals and homosexuals regulating all kinds of family issues, from divorce to adoption to in-vitro fertilization and how parents can name their children. The proposal now goes to the Senate where it is expected to pass and be signed into law in (April) 2013 [R1.6].

On 14 November 2012, the Congress was reported to be considering a gay “marriage equality” law that would give same-sex couples all the same rights and responsibilities of heterosexual married couples [R1.5].

On 14 June 2012, Paul Maqueira of the Ministry of Education and Culture reportedly announced the initial draft of a measure that which would legalize gay marriage and lawmakers are expected to debate the bill before the end of the year [R1.4].

On 06 September 2011, a bill that would legalize gay marriage was expected to be formally introduced, and debated in the House of Representatives this year with the legislation reaching the Senate in early 2012 [R1.3].

On 09 April 2011, a bill that would legalize marriage between two members of the same sex was reportedly expected to be introduced in Uruguay the following week [R1.2].

In July 2010, it was reported that gay marriage was being considered [R1.1]

2. Courts & Tribunals

On 11 June 2012, Judge Eduardo Martinez in the Court of Appeals was reported to have granted a binational Spanish and Uruguayan couple, married in Spain in 2010, the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexual couples in Uruguay [R2.1].

R1.10 OnTop Magazine: Uruguay Gay Marriage Law Set To Take Effect August 1 07 MAY 13
R1.9 PinkNews: First gay couple registered to marry wed and ‘celebrate love’ of new equal marriage law 23 AUG 13
R1.8 StarObserver: Uruguay marriage bill passes, will be made law 11 APR 13
R1.7 GayStarNews: Uruguay’s Senate says ‘I do’ to gay marriage 02 APR 13
R1.6 MercoPress: Uruguay legalizes same sex marriage and rights by overwhelming majority 12 DEC 12
R1.5 BloombergBusiness Week: Uruguay congress considers same-sex marriage law 14 NOV 12
R1.4 OnTop Magazine: Uruguay To Consider Gay Marriage 14 JUN 12
R1.3 OnTop Magazine: Gay Marriage Bill Introduced In Uruguay 05 SEP 11
R1.2 OnTop Magazine: Gay Marriage Law Proposed In Uruguay 09 APR 11
R1.1 OnTop Magazine: Argentine Neighbors Uruguay, Paraguay To Debate Gay Marriage 20 JUL 10
R2.1 GayStarNews: Uruguay recognizes its first foreign gay marriage 11 JUN 12
Military Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

In May 2009, a ban on gays serving in its military imposed under the 1973-85 military dictatorship, was lifted [R1.1].

R1.1 PinkNews.co.uk: Uruguay lifts military gay ban 18 MAY 09
Parenting, Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

In September 2009, some experts said that because there is no explicit mention of adoption by gay couples in the new law, subjective interpretation could result in legal problems for couples wishing to adopt. Others say the fact that same-sex couples may legally join in civil unions, which are covered under the new law, will resolve any doubts [R1.2].

In August 2009, the Congress passed a bill allowing adoption by gay and lesbian couples [R1.1]. The Senate passed the bill in September [R1.2].

R1.2 PinkNews.co.uk: Questions raised over Uruguay’s ‘gay adoption’ law 16 SEP 09
The Advocate: Uruguay Gay Adoptions: Not So Fast? 17 SEP 09
R1.1 PinkNews.co.uk: Bill to legalise gay adoption moves forward in Uruguay 28 AUG 09