South & Latin America » Panama
Gay Guide Panama
Homosexuality is not illegal nor considered a mental illness in Panama since 2008. Panama was the last Spanish-speaking country to abolish such a law. There are no laws against consensual homosexual relationships and contacts. However, there are still discriminatory laws, such as the ban on gay sex in public, which is punishable by $500 or a year's imprisonment, as opposed to sex among heterosexuals. Gays and lesbians are also treated worse by the military and police. Article 39 of the constitution prohibits the founding of companies, associations and societies that are "immoral" and "illegal". This was often used in the past to decline permission to gay and lesbian organisations. So far, anti-discrimination legislation has also been lacking. Since 1996, however, the non-governmental AHMNP in Panama City has stood up for the rights of homosexuals in this country. Marriage for all has been constitutionally excluded since 2014; marriages between homosexuals from other countries are not recognised either. In recent years, a small, lively gay scene has developed in the capital, and some discos and bars have opened. In view of the discrimination mentioned above, there has been a gradual increase in tolerance and equanimity in society. In 2005, the first ever Parade of Sexual Diversity (Marcha por la Diversidad Sexual) was held in Panama City and has been held every year since. In 2017, the country's first lady, Lorena Castillo, took part in the parade. Panama has both a Pacific and an Atlantic coast. The two oceans are connected by the Panama Canal - thanks to its revenues, Panama is one of the richest countries in Latin America.
Cities in Panama
Location: Southern Central America
International country code: 507 (no area codes)
Language: Spanish, English
Religions: 85% Roman Catholic
Climate: Tropical climate that is hot, humid and cloudy. Rainy season from May to January and dry season that from January to May.