Homosexuality has been legal in Ecuador since a 1997 landmark decision by the Constitutional Tribunal overturned as unconstitutional section one of Article 516 of the Penal Code, which previously criminalized sexual activities between persons of the same sex.

Age of consentEdit

The age of consent in Ecuador is 14 regardless of gender and/or sexual orientation.[1]

Protection based on sexual orientation in lawEdit

In 1998, Ecuador became the first country in the Americas (and only the third worldwide after South Africa and Fiji) to include sexual orientation as a protected category in its constitution.[2]

Recognition of same-sex couplesEdit

There is no legal recognition of same-sex couples.

Gay life in the countryEdit

A fairly large gay scene has developed in Quito and Guayaquil. Nevertheless, Ecuador still has a conservative and macho culture, and homosexuality continues to be viewed negatively. Moreover, institutional homophobia persists: for instance, a 2000 gay pride march was broken up by the police with tear gas.[3]


  1. Worldwide ages of consent. AVERT (last updated 2008-02-29). Retrieved on 2008-03-26.
  2. Ottosson, Daniel (2006). "LGBT world legal wrap up survey" (PDF). November Edition. International Lesbian and Gay Association. Retrieved on 2008-03-14.
  3. Gay Ecuador. Gay Guide. Gay Times. Retrieved on 2008-03-26.


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