The Gay Situation in Nicaragua

I recently saw a question asked about the status of gay life in Nicaragua. Being that I am a gay expat that's been living here almost a year I think I'm finally qualified to answer this question.

Preface: Dirty word filter is on full bore, so if you see words in spanish it's because the spam filter didn't like them.

According to Nica Articulo 204:

"Anyone who induces, promotes, propagandizes or practices in scandalous form sexual intercourse between persons of the same sex commits the crime of sodomía and shall incur 1 to 3 years imprisonment."

The law was appealed in 1992. The supreme court denied the appeal 5 - 2 making the law enforcable on the grounds that "[t]o authorize the performance and freedom of sodomía would be a legal attack against the increase of the Nicaraguan population, a step back for its political, economic and social advancement, due to the lack of men and women to push Nicaragua’s progress forward. One cannot attack matrimony..."

In other news, that law was passed in 1992 and there's not a single person in jail under it. Prevailing thought (being that there's 3 gay bars in Managua) is that nobody really cares. Of course, because of how the law is worded, passing a pamphlet to someone on the street that talks about homosexuality could easily be considered sodomía, so there is some risk here.

So what's the real situation like? I find people here (liberal Estelí) to be more accepting of who I am than people in the states were, though I was in two rural towns in Oregon. Essentially when I first moved here I was incredibly cautious, because if someone has a grudge against me and they happen to find the right law enforcement officer that has a gringo grudge, or just in general hates gays, life could be hell for me pretty quickly. I have since come out to all kinds of people here and have not yet had a single person tell me I was going to hell or that I should be ashamed, or anything of the sort.

I also know a nice guy who lives in Masaya who's in his 20s and his parents love him to death. He described his coming out experience and they basically said, "I'm so sorry for you because I know it'll make your life harder, but you can't choose who you love, and if anyone ever gives you trouble, come talk to us."

I am only 2 hours away from Managua, so every sane gay above the age of 18 immediately disappears to the capital. The situation in Estelí at least is that there's the typical gay vacuum of people between 18 and 40, and then they come back to the nice places to live to settle down. Those gays I have found between the ages of 18 and 40 that are here seem to be stuck in a void of being permanently 14 in terms of maturity and adhere agressively to activo/passivo roles that emulate straight life more closely. In short I don't expect to find Mr. Right here.

The bottom line is that in a country where food is hard to come by for many, what a foreigner does in his/her bedroom makes no difference. Of course I'm not their son either. Those that I do talk to that are experiencing the weight of Nica christian upbringing and parental disappointment have mixed experiences, just like their counterparts in the states. I've talked to a 17 year old "bisexual" who would be defined as a flaming queen where I come from who kept saying, "God, nobody can find out about me or I just don't know how I'll ever live. I mean, yeah, my brother caught me having sex with a guy, but I don't think my family knows..." Yeah right. :-)

Check out (site is in Spanish) if you want to get in touch with the gay community in Nicaragua or learn more about it. (self promotion disclaimer: I'm the admin there)

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Spanish Text

Thanks Blarg for posting Art. 204's spanish text.

As I see it, The first part of the paragraph pertains to the crime of sodomy, as defined: To induce, promote, propagandize in scandalous form "concubito", this is more than just having sex, it implies having a concubine or mistress and doing it in a scandalous form. The key word here is scandolous "escandaloso" and the handing of leafleats, for example, is not in any way escandaloso. Someone can associate this with gay parades, but it depends in my opinion, on what and how is presented during the parade. As you said It's all very subjective". This law would have to be litigated and tested in court.

The second part of the paragraph applies to the one person that under the color of authority, such as guardian, teacher, boss, etc. (is very broad) has sex with another person even in private, pays the penalty of Ilegitimate Seduction. I would think that this part has nothing to do with the gay issue.

In my opinion, the awareness and education on this issue, leads to a better understanding and makes a better society.


Art. 204

Ref. Blarg's blog 4/11/06 Blarg, it appears to me that what is punishable under Art. 204 is the inducing, promoting, etc in "scandalous form" ... (I would need to see the spanish written document) Otherwise the free exercise of sex between partners of the same gender, seems to be implicitly allowed.

You've done a good job on stating and defending your position. Congrats.


The actual law

"Se reforma el Capitulo IX, Titulo I del Libro del Código Penal, el que se leerá así: .... Arto. 204: Comete delito de SODOMIA el que induzca, promueva, propagandice o practique en forma escandalosa el concúbito entre personas del mismo sexo. Sufrirá de 1 a 3 años de prisión. Cuando uno de los que lo practican, aún en privado, tuviese sobre otro el poder disciplinario o de mando, como ascendiente, quardador, maestro, jefe, guardián, o en cualquier otro concepto que implique influencia de autoridad o de dirección moral, se le aplicará la pena de seducción ilegítima, como único responsable."

So you could take that to mean en forma escandalosa applies to all of the induzca, promueva, etc, or that it simply applies to the last part of the sentence. The way I tend to read it the scandalous stuff seems to only apply to the practicing part of the sentence. Also, even if it does apply to everything there, many would consider distributing safe sex pamphlets that mention homosexuality to teenagers to be a "scandalous" way of "promoting" homosexuality. Or how about the Miss Gay pageants they have where guys cross dress, hold a parade and then a beauty pageant? It's all very subjective.

So it's a gray line, and gays here are afraid, regardless of how much it's actually been enforced. Two gay men from Nicaragua were granted asylum by the US in 1995. Also, a report by the Committee to Protect Journalists, based in New York, states that the Nicaraguan sodomy law has had a chilling effect on coverage or press discussion of gay and les-bian topics. Laws like this also have a way of enabling homophobic activity and allowing people that aren't law enforcement officers the ability to think they're just doing a little "home brewed justice" while they beat/rape/stab/whatever gays in the area. So the fact that gays are singled out in a law at all is a problem to the local gay community.

And thank you. :-)

seems odd

I have seen articles about the Gay pageant they have in Managua every year.

Look at Piedras y Olas Hotel in San Juan del Sur; go to the very bottom and left of this page

I never realized there was an actual law in Nicaragua, since businesses and pageants seem to be fairly open about it all.


Miskito Alan &#174

Jesse Jackson is the head of that Rainbow Coalition.

I knew that Jesse was working for some movement

I thought that the movement still had to do with Civil Rights.

Gays are waving Jesse's flag.

Go Figure.


They're just trying to say that if I go and check in with a man I won't get weird looks. Or usually more of a "If you check in with a guy we'll take your money" kind of a statement regardless of actual acceptance level. lol.


..."Two gay men from Nicaragua were granted asylum by the US in 1995..."

Being gay is not a recognized basis of asylum in the U.S. It never has been, and it is hard to see how it ever could be. It is possible thay two men who happen to have been gay, were given provisional status in the U.S., but if true they did not achieve this status based solely on the fact that they are "gay". Whatever the truth is, it is much more than their "gayness" (if that is a word), which got them there.

NICA Asylum Claims

In 1997, The "Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor" issued a U.S. State Department Report on Asylum claims for/from Nicaragua. While this report, granted, is not all that recent, it is recent and relevant per the 1995 case cited above. From the report: "... the law [one cited above in this Nicaliving post] is not actively enforced and there is no reported government persecution of homosexuals or systematic violence against them from any source.".

The report can be found as pdf and html:

This does not address the current situation, though one suspects that if the case from 1995 was based solely on homosexual persecution, that this 1997 report would read otherwise than it does.


I found it interesting the incredible pro-Samoza spin they give in your report there, btw. :-) "Generally prosperous" with 40 percent of the country illiterate. -_- oy. Anyway, you're right about your report, and you're right about the general situation here.

(Note: LGBT = Lesbia n, Gay, Bi sexual, and Trans-gendered uy the spam filter is dumb)

I dunno what those cases are about. I suspect, just as you do that the spin of the source got past me. However, asylum is granted in the States to anyone who meets the definition of a refugee below, and is physically present in the US:

"any person who is outside any country of such person's nationality or, in the case of a person having no nationality, is outside any country in which such person last habitually resided, and who is unable or unwilling to return to, and is unable or unwilling to avail himself or herself to the protection of that country because of persecution or a well founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion."

So the 'particular social group' fits pretty nicely. There have been no supreme court cases on LGBT asylum cases, however, removal orders and denials of asylum, witholding and Convention Against Torture claims are appealed from the Immigration Judge to the administrative body of the Board of Immigration Appeals so nobody really knows what's going on, because the vast majority of BIA decisions are unpublished.

But, in an incredibly long-winded way of saying my point, look at Karouni v. Gonzales, Matter of Toboso-Alfonso (which was denoted as precedent by Janet Reno, saying that homosexual men had been recognized as a particular social group under asylum law), the case of Amanfi v. Ashcroft, where it was decided that being a group of the "homosexual social group" could be grounds for an asylum claim, or the case of Hernandez-Montiel, Reyes-Reyes v. Ashcroft.

If you don't want to read all of that, I'll sum it up. There's not much precident in this area. The vast majority of cases are decided without any written opinion at the Asylum Office level. Even cases that go before Immigration Judges are mostly decided by oral opinion which is only transcribed if a party appeals. Similarly, the vast majority of BIA decisions are unpublished. To date, there has only been one precedential LGBT BIA decision, which is the one I noted earlier in my ramble.

A complete list of LGBT asylum cases within reason can be found at:

One that proves my point is Hernandez-Montiel v. INS (9th Circuit 2000) - 225 F.3d 1088 (9th Cir. 2000) -- finding that a gay man with a female sexual identity who suffered persecution in Mexico, largely because he was effeminate, qualified for asylum. We still don't know if (s)he ultimately got asylum, but the fact that a precident exists that says that gays are a "social group" tells me that most likely if someone appealed from Saudi Arabia where they behead gays or the United Arab Emirates where they give them testosterone shots to make them "manly", they'd most likely get aslyum. I don't think they would from here, because as a gay that voluntarily moved here, ain't that bad. :-)

"CJ" - Asylum of Viktor

Miskito Alan &#174

Carl - Are you familiar with this asylum case?


"A gay Lebanese man with AIDS may seek asylum in the United States because he has a well-founded fear of persecution in his native Lebanon, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Monday."

It's not the being gay that gets you asylum, it's the possibly getting killed in one way or another because you're gay that does. There are examples from the Middle East where the government has the death sentence for sodomy that we've granted asylum for as well if you'd like me to look for those. I figured this more closely matched the Nicaraguan cases.

Hmm... And...?

You cited an article more than one year old in which someone may seek asylum (his claim was already rejected by the immigration judge); MAY, seek. Since one year has passed, what happened? I do not see that this article proves much of anything anyway though. His danger appears due from the fact that he has AIDS, not from the fact that he is gay. Even death-sentence-for-sodomy-instances would not get asylum based on one's sexual orientation, only for acting on such. If all this is true (I do not believe it is), then wouldn't every gay in almost every Muslim country have an overwhelming case for asylum in the U.S. (though, surprisngly, the State department is far from overwhelmed by such claims)?

No time yet

I have not yet had time to actually look up if anyone was granted asylum by the states for fear of persecusution for bein homosexual. I'll check into it.

(See reply above)

speaking of alternative...

Anyone know any good BDSM clubs in Nicaragua? LOL Pete?

content of your character

I haven't yet spent enough time in Nica to say this unequivocally, but in many places, it's often less your race, religion, or sexual orientation that attracts or repels people than what kind of person you are. The old "golden rule", which seems to be the foremost tenet in nearly all major and minor religions (and is generally adhered to by atheists as well): treat people as you wish to be treated. Once you've shown yourself to be a kind, giving, empathetic sort, even those who might have ingrained feelings of distrust or dislike often realize these beliefs have no basis. Shared experience also goes a long way in overcoming mindless bigotry, as does having a good laugh.


I live here for a reason. :-D


Hi Blarg,

Kinda curious about something I heard while I was down looking at properties near Rivas.

While we were looking at Iguana someone casually mentioned to me that this resort was taking on a "gay" atomospher. Now, I don't know if the person who told me this thought it would deter us from investing there or why he felt the need to include this.

I just found it rather odd ....Iguana is the hot spot for Golf and surfing from what I could tell, which would be the draw to the resort..not the alternative lifestyles.

BTW..just so you know, we didn't invest in this place because it was golf 24/7 and we already live this life....we're trying to get away from golf not immerse ourselves further. But as I've said's a great investment if that is what one is looking for.

I'm also glad to hear that Nicaragua isn't as discrimintory as I first thought :)

Dig in.

Yeah, you'll find quite a few sane people here. I find most people that claim to know an area is "gay" have NO CLUE what they're talking about. A lady that found the house I live in for me told me that an area of Estelí was "lleno de cochones" so I was like, "Oh, let's look over there then." She got all confused and assumed my spanish was bad. When I insisted, she said "no, I meant pandilleros". I'm like ok, whatever. :-)

Give us Nicas a break!!

The revolution of the 70's and 80's took away many men away from their women. Today, there is a shortage of men because many have immigrated out of Nicaragua. One of the biggest plight from women is that it is hard to find "real men" now a days. Some are too childish and other a simply "Gays"!

It is estimated that there are 7 to 10 women for a men. And that 1 out of every 7 eligible bachelor is gay. Sorry pal, but we need to protect our God given right to reproduce our population and not to fall casualty to an oncoming revolution!!

Give us Nica heteros a break and stop having our women compete for men.


That's not what I see just in general on the streets. It's also not what the Nica government says:

The CIA fact book says the following from the 1995 census:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

And 1 out of every 7 eligible bachelors are gay? Then they're not eligible, now are they? So might as well lump in the married guys (who might want a little nookie and are much more eligible than I am) and recount. Where are these stats coming from?

Also, I'll have you know that one of the biggest plights from gay men is that it's hard to find "real men" now a days. Some are too childish, and according to many scientific surveys anywhere from 90% to 99% of the male population isn't interested.

So, if your stats are accurate, and one can choose to like women as you suggest, then I'd say you'd have much more success with the women folk than whining at the gay guys to start doing all the changing. :-)

Also, since God gave you the right to have piles of kids, I'm sure he'll swing in and find you the right guy. He's the one that wants to make sure that happens after all. I know he made me exactly the way I am, so I'm sure this is all according to plan.


What would this world be if all men were like you? I know that would be your perfect utopia. I wonder if there would be reproduction? I am a proud father of two lovely children with one more on the way. Yes I do take care of them!! I know what my role is in this world as a male. What is yours? Are women bound to compete with you for men? God help us!

Each to his/her own

I don't claim everyone should be like me. In fact it is you that's claiming everyone should be like you. We all know a world full of gay people wouldn't lead to many children. But you're not answering my questions. Where did your statistics come from?

And you have to have children to be a useful member of society? My role is my role, and I make plenty of a mark on the world. I plan to adopt children that nobody else wants to love when I'm ready and in a stable relationship. Does that make me less of a person than you? And no, women are not bound to compete with me for men, because the men I'm interested in are not interested in women at all. Stop pointing fingers and start writing facts.

Nica Adoptions

"And you have to have children to be a useful member of society? My role is my role, and I make plenty of a mark on the world. I plan to adopt children that nobody else wants to love when I'm ready and in a stable relationship. Does that make me less of a person than"

I actually commend people who don't submit to society and instantly have children. There are to many unwanted children not to mention really bad parents out there. If one doesn't want to have children then they shouldn't. Society shouldn't label these people as "useless".

I have a twin and we were both adopted back in 1957. Now I happen to know it took years for my heterosexual parents to adopt us....I can't even imagine how difficult it will be for you, being gay even if the year is 2006. I'd be interested to hear about the adoption proceedures in Nicaragua if this is where you will be adopting a child from.

No clue

Gotta find the guy before I'll even bother, and I couldn't legally do it here, I'm sure of it. So basically I have a lot left to do before I even start the process. :-)


The Nica gov. write all kinds of stats that is to their advantage for luring all kind of people back to the country. Depend on who is in office, that is the story you will get.

Depends on where you get your statitics from will tell if they are pro- sandinistas, pro-plc, pro-camino cristiano, pro-aliaza por la republica, pro-gay. Nica statisticians and government are all about politics!!!

Fact, I have a female cousin that is medical professional who is withdrawn from seeking men! She found her college ex-fiacee in bed with onother men like you who is only interested in other men.

An ex-girlfriend went through similar problem. Don't tell me about where I get my info from. I was born in Nicaragua and lived there most of my 40 years. I participated in the revolution and contra war and don't ask me where I get my info from.

How long have you been in my country? Oh! I guess by reading some stats on the net makes you an expert on my country!

Do you know the stats on howmany male died in the revolution? do you know howmany of them died during the contra war? do you know how many are still dying in the pandilla war? do you know how many of them are out of the country?

Do that type of research and you will be surprise about how many men there are for women. Don't count male children born after the mid 1990's. The real vacum started in 1976 to 1990.

Who said I was an expert?

If you read my post you'll know how long I've been here. Also, people can live in a country for their entire lives and be wrong about something, not that you are.

You told the stories of two guys who cheated on their lovers. I'm sorry, but many of these situations could be avoided entirely if those guys were allowed to be honest with themselves in the first place. I have never been with a woman, and most likely will never be, so you don't have to worry about me cheating on you. Science shows that those men are born with the desire to be with other men, and that will come out sooner or later. Repressing it with laws or culture doesn't make it go away, it just makes that portion of society more likely to kill themselves or get involved with the opposite sex and then do exactly what you describe.

You yourself say that "Depends on where you get your statitics from will tell if they are..." and then say "don't ask me where I get my info from." That sounds kind of strange to me, since you say that it's the determining factor in that information's validity. This is the very reason I asked. If you said, "My own personal experience, and think about the wars you retard" that would have been fine, I just wanted to know.

So, what you're trying to say is that there's a shortage of men between the ages of 30 and 45. This is reasonable and makes sense. The statistics I posted were for a very wide range of ages. I'm not _against_ what you're saying, I simply want to know the correct information. You could have said in one sentence "If you make the range smaller you'll see what I'm talking about." I would have then said, "Oh, thank you for clarifying."

Though I can't bring myself to feel sorry for you here. There are plenty of men for even me to chose from, and I only get about 3% of the male population. Your argument will be "go to women". Well, that's mine for you too, so let's call that a tie and move on. :-)

We have

A drag queen fest in my town, but no cowboy fest

We have a gay pride parade in my town, but no heterosexual pride parade

We have Reel Pride movie fest celebrating homosexual actors and movies in my town, but none celebrating heterosexuality.

Why is this?

Because we (heterosexuals) don’t care.

Can I come to your town and march, celebrate and party to my sexuality? or would that be some type on “ism”?

Great Damn Idea

Miskito Alan &#174

Puerto Cabezas will be the home of hetrosexual pride.

Only one gay boy lives here and a couple of bi-sexual women have fooled around a little bit.

We must establish a date for this HetroSexual Pride Week.

I plan to ask Hooter's for support.


When and where?

If you guys do come up with a date and time, let me know so I can show up to support you.

Not that I've ever been to a gay pride or anything, but you definitely have the right and I definitely support your choice.

re: gay pride

Blarg...there is a gay pride in NYC every's a would love it! Crazy outfits, lots of drinking and just lots of fun.

Blarg - You Have been Told Before

Miskito Alan &#174

I would welcome you in my house in Port at any time - Just come to the airport and cross the street. (Serious).

I would appreciate your coming to visit since I think that are almost as smart as me. :-)


No, the parade

No no no, we're talking about straight pride week. Go ahead and put it together so I can show up and support your lifestyle.

And "I think that are almost as smart as me" too....unless that just doesn't make sense...?

Do your math again

I am sure more than one lives there. I can not post a link or web site but I have met a few Nicaraguan men who after a few drinks get a little squirrelish.

I guess the main thing to remember is that we are who we are and we should not have to display it on our shirt sleeves.

I vote for November 12th as the day.



Submitted by Blarg on 11 April, 2006 - 00:11.

What is your point?

Kiss IT.

Kiss IT Submitted by Miskito Alan on 11 April, 2006 - 00:58. Miskito Alan ®

It just really seems like that every time that somebody that is gay or homosexual, or queer, or whatever they are politically corrected called these days makes a flaming statement about their sex lives that if someody says something - the result is that is completely wrong.

If you want to be gay - be it and I frankly don't care if you want to be gay in Nicaragua or USA or damn India. Be gay where you want.

I have the right to issue my flaming statements and I have my right to be hetrosexual anywhere that I want..

Get over your publicity campaign for gay people or let me publicize my hetrosexuality.

Wrong thread

I don't know why this is here, but my response to this is over in the correct thread:

Another interpretation

One interpretation is that as you said people in Esteli are accepting of who you are, or more so acceptings. There is no shortages of people who will or would tell you are on your way to hell, but your everyday life there probably does not put you into contact with them but this is all the better, perhaps. The "other" interpretation starts when you examine coming out stories and relocating to the capital. If coming out is torture then maybe the society is not all that accepting. My guess is it certainly is not? Better yet if people need to move to the capital it is because they are not accepted where they are ors were. The move is to a locale where one is anonymous due to the sheer numbers of people which is very different from tolerance or being "accepted". Almost every giant city in the Americas has a gay population where one can be anonymous if they chose. Being invisibles and ignored and being visible and embraced are two of the most different things in the world. Another interpretation is that what you found was the latter and that can be found in most really big cities in the Western World. Nothing special about that though.


Miskito Alan &#174

Why did Nicaragua or these other countries ever have such laws?

Just curious because I've never been gay or queer or homosexual.


Same reason

For the same reason other laws are created. To define acceptable behavior in a society and create punishment for those that don't follow your acceptable guidelines. I didn't know you had to be gay to know that.

Point & Point

Miskito Alan &#174

Now - Lets go to the next place.

Law - Lock the damn Japs up in WWII. Citizens - Well frig 'em

Law - Sign dem treaties and screw the injuns.

Law - Dem folks spear-chuking burr-heads not sitting at the lunch-counter.

Well - we can start a list but you see where this is going.


I'm not arguing with you. You asked why the law was created. Why did Klamath Falls have a law that said you can't knock snakes' heads off with a cane? They found that behavior repulsive so they created a law against it. Being a law doesn't make something right or wrong, just punishible. :-)


I didn't analyze it from a Nica perspective but from an expat living here perspective. I think it's much harder for the gay people here than in the states to come out, but I think it's easier to be out as a foreigner here than as a native in the states. I hope I clarified a bit. :-)

I'm Outed

Miskito Alan &#174

I want everybody and especially Carina and Santana to know that I am a confimed hetrosexual and I love it and I will never change my lifestyle.

BTW/ I have friends here on NicaLiving who are outed and are confirmed hetrosexuals and me and my friends do love the women.

This statement includes "Farmer John" tooooooo.


Being outed

I thought that being outed was a very personal experience one shares with family and your parents. Do your parents know?

I will quantify myself here. My father had one sister but I had three Aunts.

Thank you for considering Nicaliving as part of your family!

Lets Don't Get Confused

Miskito Alan &#174

I only say "outed" as being "outed" as a hetrosexual and not necessarily a "monogamous" hetrosexual.

I think that my father knew before he died that I did fool around with other women but I don't think that my mother knew that I fooled around with other women.

Also, my brothers and sisters never knew that I fooled around with other women because I had no sisters or brothers.

In my whole life - I've only had girlfriends and hetrosexual pride.


That is to deep

I am going to bed to contemplate what you have said.


Yup lots of gay people in Nicaragua. My brother in law in Masaya was gay till he died of aids. Used to talk on the radio alot. I am; sorry for him. Tried to take advantage of me as I worked in the aids office in SF. He Used to sell condoms I sent him to help people. So, guess what is in Nic remains the same...... I am not gay but am for all people.

To Blarg

I see you are doing the best you can but if they are not on the bus, they just don't get it. (Ken's bus, Pete) Don't forget B.B. King saying that you can't sing the blues until you live them. It's a queer thing, they don't understand and we all know the truth about those who feel threatened the most.......


Thanks. I don't see much reason in having an informational site if there's no information on it, so I like to make sure the facts are represented everywhere. That's why I keep keepin' on and keep demanding facts from people that obviously don't have any.

Morjak - Damn It to Hell

Miskito Alan &#174

Just leave me and B.B. King alone.

You just wanting to pick on us damn ole Mississippi boys.

You gonna want to bring in Charlie Pride and Elvis Presley next.