Dominican Republic

At a glance

Same Sex
Relations
Legal?

YES

Legal Gender
Recognition
Possible?

NO

LGBTI Orgs
Able to
Register?

YES

Actions Related
to SOGI at
the UN

2016: Supported IE SOGI in 2016

Overview

From a legal perspective, there has been significant progress in recognition of the human rights of LGBTIQ people in the Dominican Republic in recent years. Some progressive legislation has been implemented, and even hate crime legislation inclusive of grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity is pending. The article of the Dominican Constitution which bans same-sex marriage is facing numerous legal challenges. However, social norms and values continue to dictate that being LGBTIQ is unacceptable. The Catholic Church plays a strong cultural and political role in the Dominican Republic. Religious leaders often frames LGBTIQ identity as a sin or deviance, thus reinforcing the dominant machismo culture. Attitudes towards members of the LGBTIQ community tend to reflect the Catholic Church's opposition to LGBTIQ relationships and identities. Anti-LGBTIQ sentiment is pervasive among police, with reports of police harassing and unlawfully detaining LGBTIQ people, in particular transgender women. This antipathy is, in part, due to a law which bans police officials from having same-sex relations.