Case No. 111-97-TC

Case No. 111-97-TC is a landmark decision by the Constitutional Tribunal of Ecuador on November 25, 1997, regarding the country's sodomy laws. The newly created tribunal unanimously overturned as unconstitutional the first paragraph of Article 516 of the Penal Code, which criminalized sexual activities between persons of the same sex.[1] The case was the first step towards increasing recognition of LGBT rights in Ecuador. The following year, Ecuador became the first country in the Americas (and only the third in the world after South Africa and Fiji)[citation needed] to include sexual orientation as a protected category in its constitution.

The tribunal's decision was not wholeheartedly received by LGBT rights activists, who criticized its characterization of homosexuality as "abnormal conduct" that should be treated medically rather than penally sanctioned. The tribunal was accused of being traditional-minded for stating that "it is clear that even though [homosexuality] should not be a judicially punishable conduct, the protection of the family and of minors requires that it not be a socially exalted conduct".[2]

The decision was also criticized by social conservatives opposed to the decriminalization of homosexuality altogether.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ (in Spanish) Diario Hoy. Parcial Despenalizacion De La Homosexualidad Archived December 4, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 27 October 2014.
  2. ^ Salgado, Judith (October 2004). "Análisis de la interpretación de inconstitucionalidad de la penalización de la homosexualidad en el Ecuador". Aportes Andinos (in Spanish). Quito: Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar (11). Archived from the original on March 27, 2008. Retrieved March 26, 2008.
  3. ^ Ab. José Roberto López M. (1999). "La tipificación del homosexualismo como delito no viola las garantías constitucionales de los homosexuales. Pero su despenalización lesiona los derechos constitucionales de la sociedad" (PDF). Revista Jurídica (in Spanish). Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil: Facultad de Jurisprudencia y Ciencias Sociales y Políticas. 1 (13): 175–188. Retrieved 17 June 2018.

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