Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is legal in Nicaragua, but same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex married couples. In November 2007, a new Penal Code was drafted and since 1 March 2008, same-sex sexual activity has been legal by a new Penal Code.

During the Sandinista Revolution (1961-1990) many LGBT Nicaraguans held prominent roles. However, LGBT rights were not of any priority to the Sandinista government due to an overwhelming Roman Catholic population. It was also thought to be a huge political risk sure to be met with hostility from the Roman Catholic Church, already with bad relations to the government.

After the United States lifted the economic embargo against Nicaragua, many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) promoting LGBT rights began to operate in the country due to the absence of pressure from the United States. As a result, Nicaragua hosted in first public gay pride festival in 1991. The annual Gay Pride celebration in Managua, held around 28 June, in still in motion and is used to commemorate the uprising of the Stonewall riots in New York City.

In November 1992 a coalition known as the Campaign for Sexuality without Prejudices, composed of lawyers, lesbians and gay activists, amongst others, presented an appeal to the Supreme Court of Justice challenging the law as unconstitutional. However, the Supreme Court rejected the appeal in March 1994.

According to Nicaraguan LGBT group Movimiento de la Diversidad Sexual (Movement of Sexual Diversity), there are approximately 600,000 gays living in Nicaragua.


Male to male relationships: Legal

Punishments for male to male relationships: No law

Female to female relationships: Legal

Age of consent: Equal for heterosexuals and homosexuals

Same sex marriage or civil union: No

Discrimination protection

NRHI inclusive of sexual orientation: Yes

Constitution protection: Yes

Employment protection: Yes

Hate crimes law: Yes

Incitement: No

Other protection: Yes

LGBT organizations/networks

Mesa Nacional LGBTI Nicaragua:

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