Ecuador Provides Civil Unions

Timothy Kincaid

September 30th, 2008

Ecuador voters appear to have approved a new constitution, a provision of which provides civil unions to same-sex couples.

In Latin America, Ecuador joins Uruguay, the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, Mexico City, the Mexican state of Coahuila, Buenos Aires, and the Argentenian state of Rio Negro in providing recognition of same-sex couples.


September 30th, 2008

Shouldn’t French Guiana, Falkland Islands & South Georgia Island be included in this list? As territories of the UK & France aren’t civil unions recognized there as well?

Stefano A

September 30th, 2008


Each of those territories, like the Cayman Islands, have their own constitutions and codes of law.

Recent UK government regulations allow the partners of citizens of British Overseas Territories that have passed civil partnership legislation to apply for citizenship. But the UK has not extended partnership legislation across the 14 territories, which include Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands and the Cayman Islands, and none of them have moved to legalise same-sex partnerships.

At least with regard to the Cayman Islands the UK and the Caymans are due to begin talks about constitutional reform. However, Cayman does not recognise the existence of civil partnerships. In fact, an amendment to legislation in the Cayman Islands defining marriage as between a man and a woman was approved by the territory’s Legislative Assembly in early September. This was done in an attempt to stop the UK or EU from imposing them at some point in the future.

Stefano A

September 30th, 2008

BTW: Just as an aside…

France does not recognize legally registered civil partnership (CP) of UK citizens.

However, the French equivalent, the pacte civil de solidarité, known as the PACS, is fully recognised in Britain.

This has been a deeply contested point of contention between the two countries because it causes all sorts of problems.

For example: While France denies British CP recognition, France recognises same sex marriages from Holland.

Both registered same-sex partners and married people in France pay no inheritance taxes and they are both allowed to pass on their assets to their partners. But in order for British citizens to do that, France requires that British CP couples “divorce” in the UK and then register as a French PACS.


September 30th, 2008

With the way the United States financial markets are behaving nowadays, it may be a good thing to become an expatriate and make a move south of the border!

The few dollars we have left would certainly stretch a lot farther down there! And LGBT would have civil unions vs. constitutional amendments banning same-sex anything!


September 30th, 2008


Come up to Canada! We’d be glad to have you. (recent gay-bashing incident in Vancouver aside)


September 30th, 2008

Tis a shame. Thanks for the info, Stefano.


September 30th, 2008

Seriously… Ecuador? When did the USA become a third-world country?

Stefano A

September 30th, 2008

You’re welcome, John.


October 1st, 2008

As a result of complaints by the UK over France’s partial recognition of British CPs, the European Parliament is currently discussing a law which would require EU states that have legalised gay marriages or civil unions to recognise and provide the same benefits to their equivalents from other EU states.


October 1st, 2008

Well, how cool is this. My spouse will be happy to hear this.


October 1st, 2008

Rob – Thanks for the invitation! Perhaps a “visit” to Canada would be better. I just can’t stand the extreme COLD! :-)


October 1st, 2008

Eddie- As Rhoda once said;”… I moved where it’s cold, I figured I’d keep better.” ;-)

Suricou Raven

October 1st, 2008

Unfortunatly the largest country there, Brazil, is one in which the Roman Catholic church is very influencial. This is why in Brazil, all abortion (With a narrow exception if the life of the woman is in serious danger) carries a three-year prison term – for both the woman and the doctor. Even a 2004 attempt to legalise abortion for anencephalic fetuses (Estimated survival after birth measured in hours) was defeated by Catholic opposition.

So, if the catholic church has that much influence, I imagine getting civil unions approved isn’t going to happen. A snowball’s chance in hell seems appropriate.

Timothy Kincaid

October 1st, 2008

Suricou Raven,

Civil Unions are legal in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, the state closest to Uruguay.

Perhaps hell has installed freezers.


October 1st, 2008

(With a narrow exception if the life of the woman is in serious danger)

Abortion is also available for women whose pregnancies were caused by rape, and often the Court will grant women the power to abort if it is known the fetus is ill formed, misses a brain, etc.

Seriously, I don’t believe the Catholic Church has that much of an influence on Brazilian politics. Rio de Janeiro is the only state where a governor has succeeded in being elected by pushing religious rhetorics — and he was an Evangelical Christian, not a Catholic. (And I believe his success had more to do with his populistic, fiscal leftist, politics than to the pious image he projected.) Most Brazilians are derisively dismissed by devoted folks as “IBGE Catholics”.

IMO, the one South America country who has a long way to go to get rid of the Roman Catholic Church meddling its politics and its citizens’ personal affairs is Chile, which, up until 2004(!), thanks to its Catholic parties, didn’t have a legislation on divorce.


June 4th, 2009

Just read some of these comments about British civil partnership not recognised in France and thought you would like to know that France passed a law 13/5/09 to now accept all foreign civil partnerships and to give them the same rights as they have in their own country depending on whether it is not against French law eg you won’t be able to adopt. In practice foreign cps will probably be treated like PACSed couples.

Here is the law

loi n° 2009-526 du 12 mai 2009 de simplification et de clarification du droit et d’allègement des procédures a été publiée au Journal Officiel d’aujourd’hui (JORF n° 0110 du 13 mai 2009).

Par conséquent, son article 1er, qui avait été introduit par la voie d’un amendement dont M. YUNG était l’auteur et qui prévoit la reconnaissance en France des partenariats civils enregistrés à l’étranger (article 515-7-1 du code civil), est désormais applicable.

It’s now law in France to recognise foreign civil partnerships.


September 21st, 2009

Ecuador is really really beautiful… Come and see the wonderfull places…!!!

Andres Buitron

February 23rd, 2010

Same Sex Civil Unions are legal in Ecuador since 2009, South America.

Ecuador is a country located in the northwest of South America. It is a multiethnic country that has an important culture, geography, history, and natural wealth. The United Nations Statistics Division has determined that Ecuador is a developing country because it has low standards of democratic governments, industrialization, social programs, and human rights guarantees that are yet to develop to those met in the West.

Nonetheless, the same sex unions were approved by the new Constitution in its section 68 . It is the only case over the world that the Constitution guarantees the gay union. The Ecuadorian was the third constitution worldwide that recognizes the non-discrimination principal over sexual orientation since 1998. The Ecuadorian case recognizes the same rights of the marriage with a full protection. Furthermore, Ecuador is the third country of Latin America that accepts the gays unions after Uruguay and Colombia. The Argentina, Mexico and Brazil cases recognize same sex unions only in some regions, not in the all country.

The first civil union in Ecuador was approved in August 12th, 2009. An Ecuadorian man who works for an international organization got a union with an American guy. Their first speech states that Ecuador was more liberal that the USA because of the recognition of his gay union at a national level . They had previously gotten a civil union in Vermont which was useless to get a family visa because of its lack of national and international recognition. After he applied to the Ecuadorian union, he could get the family visa in Switzerland.

This couple has had some challenges to face. The first one was that the notaries did not want to celebrate the civil union. The other one was there were some priests that began to criticize gays unions. Finally, they could carry out their goal with the sponsorship of a young lawyer Andres Buitron. They were working together with Equidad NGO (Fundación Ecuatoriana Equidad). Until now, there have been ten unions of same sex couples. Nine of them are male couples and four of them have a foreigner partner (American, Swiss, Cuban and Chilean). These couples have been living together for years, and the average length is 9 years. One of them was living for more than 20 years .
Finally, the Ecuadorian legislation has recognized many LGBT rights since 2008. Additionally, the hate crimes against LGBT people are forbidden and the Municipality of Quito enacted an Ordinance to foster LGBT integration . Ecuador has became a very protective LGBT country and its Capital Quito a safe place.

Timothy Kincaid

February 23rd, 2010


Same-sex marriage is guaranteed in the Constitution of South Africa.

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