(See Below for Case Law, Evidence of Public Attitudes, NGOs that Assist or Advocate on LGBTI issues, and Country of Origin LGBTI Specialists)
Same-sex sexual acts are legal in the Dominican Republic. The age of consent is equal for heterosexual and homosexual sexual acts.
No asylum cases of LGBTI persons fleeing the Dominican Republic are listed here, but we welcome suggestions.
PUBLIC ATTITUDES AND/OR STATE’S CAPACITY TO PROTECT
Treatment of LGBTI persons in the Dominican Republic may range from tolerance to staunch homophobia. In its 2012 human rights report, the US State Department reports that transgender persons are at particular risk. Transgender persons face widespread discrimination and violence, and 18 transgender persons were killed in 2012.
Between 2010 and 2012, 18 homosexual persons were victims of hate-motivated murder, reports the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board. In more recent cases mentioned by the same source, a transgender individual was stabbed to death in November 2012, while a gay man was stabbed to death on the 5th of January 2013.
Moreover, LGBTI persons in general are subject to widespread discrimination in the areas of healthcare, education and employment. LGBTI individuals have been arrested without charges, prevented from renting or purchasing property, or even denied health services in both private and public hospitals, reports the US State Department. According to the same report, victims of discrimination are often hesitant to file complaints for fear of public humiliation or reprisals, whilst police authorities do not provide assistance to LGBTI persons trying to access the justice system. Sources referred to by the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board also suggest that police authorities extort money and sex from transgender sex workers.
Following the country’s first gay pride parade in 2001, Dominican authorities have been reluctant to allow subsequent parade requests by LGBTI organisations. A gay pride parade was held in July 2012 but participants faced resistance from police authorities which argued that such activities in public places would bring ‘shame upon the nation’, according to the US State Department.
NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS (NGOs)
CVC – Caribbean Vulnerable Communities
The CVC provides services directly to and on the behalf of populations that are vulnerable to HIV and those without adequate access to healthcare and treatment programmes. Amongst these populations are men who have sex with men, sex works, migrant populations etc. This organisation seeks to create an environment to support human rights and improve the quality of life for these vulnerable populations in the Caribbean.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN SPECIALISTS
Dr Jacqueline Jiménez Polanco
Dr Jiménez Polanco is currently an Assistant Professor in Social Sciences at Bronx Community College of the City University of New York. She was previously a Research Associate at The CUNY Dominican Studies Institute and an Associate Professor in the Gender, Politics and Society Program at the Latin American Social Sciences Faculty (FLACSO). She was also previously an Assistant Professor in Puerto Rican/Latin American Studies at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She holds a Doctor “Cum Laude” in Political Science and Sociology from the Complutense University of Madrid, a Juris Doctor Degree’s Review (Examination of Licenciatura) from the Faculty of Law of the Complutense University of Madrid and a Bachelor in Science and Literature and Juris Doctor from the Pontifical Catholic University Madre y Maestra, Dominican Republic. She also holds a Post-Doctoral Specialization on Immigration, Asylum, and Refugee Law form the Carlos III University, a Postgraduate Course of Specialization in Comparative Law from the Complutense University of Madrid and a Postgraduate Course of Specialization in Constitutional Law and Political Science from the Center for Constitutional Studies of Madrid. Dr. Jiménez Polanco has written extensively on the Dominican Republic, focusing on its political conditions, gender, migration, and LGBTIQ issues.
Researched by: Minos Mouzourakis