Status of Marriage Law

Same-sex couples in Guyana cannot marry or pursue any other way to see their relationships recognized.

History of Pro-Marriage Efforts

In general, the discussion around marriage is still in its very early phases in Guyana. Efforts are primarily centered around bringing down the country’s criminalization of same-sex sexuality activity. 

Guyana had its first LGBTQ Pride Parade in June 2018. Activists are coordinating the second-ever Pride for May 2019. The first Pride was well attended and occurred without any violence or incident.

Status of Other LGBTQ-Related Laws

  • Homosexuality is criminalized in Guyana. Recent years have seen efforts to decriminalize same-sex sexual activity, and these efforts have been fueled by nearby high court rulings in Belize (2016) and Trinidad/Tobago (2018). There were even reports in 2017 that the government would hold a referendum to repeal the anti-gay law, but it never happened.
  • LGBTQ people are not protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBTQ people in Guyana are often subjected to significant violence.
  • Guyana also criminalized “cross-dressing” until November 2018. The country is generally very hostile to transgender people.

Pending Marriage Litigation

The Guyana High Court and the country’s Court of Appeal is generally not supportive of LGBT dignity, even ruling to uphold the country’s “cross-dressing” ban in November 2018. However, the Carribbean Court of Justice is a court based in Trinidad and Tobago that has authority over Guyana.