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Argentina has become a world-leader in LGBTQ+ rights. And it has nothing to do with Madonna’s memorable portrayal of the famed former first lady, Eva Perón.

Homosexuality has been legal in the country since 1887. In 2010, it became the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage. And in 2012, it became legal to change one’s gender without surgery. Not to mention other hot topics such as blood donation, adoption, anti-discrimination policies all checking out in favour of us homos.

According to Equaldex, when Argentineans were asked “Should society accept homosexuality?”, 77% said “Yes”!

How did Argentina become so progressive, you ask. Well, it’s difficult to say exactly, but four key factors seem to play the largest roles.

Sunset over beautiful Buenos Aires.

Dictatorship to Democracy

Argentina famously transitioned from military dictatorship to a progressive, people-first democracy in the early ’80s. Argentina’s heavy focus on human rights during this transition helped pave the road for social movements such as the LGBTQ+ Rights Movement. By framing gay rights as human rights, activists won mass support swiftly among parliament and the people.

A Strong Economy

It is well known that economic development goes hand-in-hand with general LGBTQ+ support and opinion. Countries with low economic development generally score lowest on the development index. While wealthier countries such as Argentina generally score higher on the development index.

The Argentinean flag flying proudly in Patagonia.

Separation of Church and State

Unlike neighbouring Chile which is also considered fairly liberal, Argentina has always kept Church and State at arm’s length. Religion has never had a firm impact on policy, removing the LGBTQ+ community’s primary oppressor. With religion out of the way, the LGBTQ+ Movement was able to push favourable policies through Congress without much internal resistance.

Spain Led by Example

During colonization, most Spanish colonial countries never implemented anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. Meanwhile, English colonies generally adopted the colonizing country’s discriminatory laws.

Further, in 2005, Spain was the third country in the world to fully allow same-sex marriage. In contrast, the U.K. has lagged — England and Wales only began recognizing it in 2013. One could attribute this to how most of Latin America has become gay-friendly, while English colonies such as Jamaica, India, etc. not so much.

Argentine Patagonia

Today, Argentina has become a mecca for gay men and women. It is continuously touted as one of the most progressive countries in the world. And consequently has become a must-visit for our community.

Join us in Argentina on our Argentina: Buenos Aires to Mendoza and Argentina & Chile: Patagonia Gay Hiking tours.
(Image credits from top to bottom: Wikipedia Commons x 2, Cascada Expediciones x 2)

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