Status of Marriage Law
Same-sex couples in El Salvador cannot marry or pursue any other way to see their relationships recognized. The Federal Constitution prohibits same-sex couples from marrying.
History of Pro-Marriage Efforts
A proposal to constitutionally ban marriage and adoption for same-sex couples was rejected twice in 2006, and once again in April 2009.
There was a new attempt to bar same-sex marriage constitutionally in 2015. The Legislative Assembly approved a measure in April 2015 that would recognize marriage as a union between a man and a woman “born that way” and prohibit same-sex couple from adopting children. But the Supreme Court dismissed that attempt on 31 January 2018 based on procedural missteps.
In January 2019, the Supreme Court dismissed a claim from Rafael Alejandro Rodríguez Colocho that Article 11 of the El Salvador family code “omitted” same-sex couples and marriage. The judges tossed the lawsuit and said, essentially, that Colocho did not prove that the lawmakers were required to include LGBT people in the Family Code.
The Supreme Court is currently considering the question of marriage between same-sex couples and how El Salvador must deal with the Inter-American Court’s advisory opinion. At least 3 different lawsuits are before the Supreme Court on this issue.
Status of Other LGBT-Related Laws
- Homosexuality is decriminalized in El Salvador and has been since 1822.
- LGBT people are included in the country’s hate crimes provisions, following the 2015 passage of a law through the Salvadoran Parliament.
- In 2018 the Salvadoran government implemented the Política Institucional para la Atención de la Población LGBT, which allows LGBT people to file legal complaints if they experience discrimination.
Pending Marriage Litigation
- A lawsuit from Herman Duarte was filed in November 2016. The claim is pending before the El Salvador Supreme Court.
- A separate lawsuit from lawyer Herbert Danilo Vega Cruz was filed in August 2016.
- The Supreme Court is currently considering the question of marriage between same-sex couples and how El Salvador must deal with the Inter-American Court’s advisory opinion. At least 3 different lawsuits are before the Supreme Court on this issue.