Status of Marriage Law

Same-sex couples in Paraguay cannot marry or pursue any other way to see their relationships recognized. Marriage is blocked by the 1992 Constitution.

History of Pro-Marriage Efforts

In the late 2000s, Paraguay shifted to become more supportive of LGBT equality and dignity, following the 2008 election of President Fernando Lugo, the first person to be president in Paraguay since the 61-year reign of the very conservative Colorado party. In 2012 Lugo was removed in essentially a coup, replaced by the Colorado party again, which denounced LGBT people in general.

During Lugo’s presidency (2008-2012), activists brought talk of civil marriage legislation to Paraguay, inspired by the passage of civil marriage in Argentina next door.

After the Inter-American Court’s advisory opinion, the president said he would not support marriage for same-sex couples and would veto any proposal to allow same-sex couples to marry. Other officials debated whether Paraguay was bound by the ruling.

Activist group SomosGay announced two new lawsuits at the nation’s Supreme Court of Justice. As a first step, the suits seek recognition of two marriages of same-sex couples who married abroad. 

The first LGBT Pride March in Ciudad de Este, Paraguay was held in September 2018. The demands included the freedom to marry. “He said that they have three fundamental points that ask the Government. The first is to be able to adopt children; the second one is related to gender identity, and at this point she explained that they have transsexual partners that are operated, but in their identity cards they still have their masculine names. Meanwhile, the third claim is equal marriage, because they want to marry in the country and not abroad.” Other Pride parades have happened before in Paraguay, including in larger cities. There is a growing LGBT movement across the country.

Status of Other LGBT-Related Laws

Homosexuality is decriminalized in Paraguay and has been since 1880.

LGBT people are able to serve in the Paraguay military and police force.

LGBT people in Paraguay are often subjected to significant violence. The violence echoes the extreme persecution LGBTQ people faced during the dictatorship of Stroessner, which ended in 1989.

In October 2018 the Education Minister banned classes about sexual diversity in schools and even volunteered to help burn all books related to the subject.

Pending Marriage Litigation

In January 2018 the LGBT group SOMOS presented a new lawsuit to the Supreme Court of Justice of Paraguay to force the country to recognize the Inter-American Court’s advisory opinion

The first lawsuit asks Paraguay to recognize marriages between same-sex couples performed in other countries.