LGBT rights in the Falkland Islands

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LGBT rights in Falkland Islands
Location map of the Falklands – Alternative version 4.svg
Same-sex sexual intercourse legal status Legal since 1989, equal age of consent since 2005
Military service UK responsible for defense (Since 2000)
Discrimination protections Yes, sexual orientation only
Family rights
Recognition of
Same-sex marriage and civil partnerships since 2017
Adoption Yes, stepchild and joint adoption since 2017

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the Falkland Islands enjoy most of the same rights as non-LGBT people. Marriage and civil partnerships have been open to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples since 29 April 2017. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is constitutionally banned. Additionally, attitudes are largely positive; a public consultation found that 90% of respondents were in favour of same-sex marriage.

In April 2017, a pride event was held in the capital city of Stanley, a first for the islands.[1]

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Prior to 1989, same-sex sexual activity was a criminal offence. The age of consent was equalised at 16 in 2005.[2]

Recognition of same-sex relationships[edit]

The Falkland Islands was initially reluctant to allow for any formal recognition of same-sex relationships in local law.[3] On 30 March 2017, the island's Legislative Assembly approved a bill to legalise same-sex marriage by 7 votes to 1.[4][5][6][7] The bill received royal assent on 13 April and went into effect on 29 April 2017.[8]

Adoption and family planning[edit]

The 2017 law reform relating to marriage and civil partnership included a new provision to the island's Marriage Ordinance stating that "a parent in a civil partnership...has the same rights and responsibilities towards a child as a parent to a child in a marriage".[6] The official reasons attached to the amendments to the ordinance included a note stating that "...parents to a child may be two mothers or two fathers".[6]

There are no known IVF/assisted reproductive technology services available for same-sex couples.

Discrimination protections[edit]

Article 16 of the 2008 Constitution bans discrimination based on sexual orientation.[9]

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes (Since 1989)[2]
Equal age of consent Yes (Since 2005)[2]
Anti-discrimination laws in employment Yes (Since 2008)[9]
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services Yes (Since 2008)[9]
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) Yes (Since 2008)[9]
Recognition of same-sex unions (e.g. civil union) Yes (Since 2017)[6]
Same-sex marriage Yes (Since 2017)[6]
Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples Yes (Since 2017)[6]
Joint adoption by same-sex couples Yes (Since 2017)[6]
LGBT people allowed to serve openly in the military Yes UK responsible for defence (Since 2000)
Right to change legal gender No
Access to IVF for lesbians Emblem-question.svg
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No (Banned for heterosexual couples as well)
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The World's most Southerly Gay Pride event!!
  2. ^ a b c "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-07-19. Retrieved 2013-06-03. 
  3. ^ "Caymans define marriage amid fears UK will impose civil partnerships". Pink News. 10 September 2008. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. 
  4. ^ Butterworth, Benjamin (12 April 2017). "Falkland Islands introduces full marriage equality". PinkNews. Archived from the original on 12 April 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  5. ^ Avery, Dan (12 April 2017). "Marriage Equality Comes To The Falkland Islands". Archived from the original on 13 April 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Order Paper for 30 March 2017". Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands ( 30 March 2017. Archived from the original on 28 June 2017. Refer to pp. 123-135 of the PDF 
  7. ^ "Facebook Post by FITV". 2017-04-03. Retrieved 2017-04-08. 
  8. ^ Salerno, Rob. "Falkland Islands Same-sex Marriage Update". Archived from the original on 28 June 2017. 
  9. ^ a b c d The Falkland Islands Constitution Order 2008