Panama

Cities in Panama

Bocas del ToroChiriquíLa VentaPanamá City

Location: Southern Central America
Initials: PAN
International country code: 507 (no area codes)
Language: Spanish, English
Area: 75,517 km² / 29,761 sq mi.
Currency: 1 Balboa (B/.) = 100 Centésimos (US$ is used)
Population: 3,802,000
Capital: Panamá City
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.

Homosexuality is not illegal in Panama. No laws prohibiting consensual homosexual relations exists. No anti-discrimination legislation exists in Panama. Discrimination against gays still exists. An example is an executive decree dating back to 1949 in which gay sex in public is punishable by a fine or 1 year imprisonment. Gays and lesbians are banned from the armed forces and police. Article 39 of the constitution forbids the creation of "companies, associations or foundations" that are "contrary to moral or legal order". This has been used to refuse registration of gay organisations. Nevertheless in 1996 Panama's first lesbian and gay organisation Asociación Hombres y Mujeres Nuevos de Panama (AHMNP) was founded. In the last couple of years a few bars and clubs catering for gay men have opened. This is a positive sign that things are slowly changing in Panama. The Asociacion Hombres y Mujeres Nuevos de Panama (AHMNP), visited the National Assembly of Deputees (Asamblea Nacional de Diputados), the equivalent of a Congress or Parliament, in September 2005, and presented their Office of Citizen Participation (Oficina de Participacion Ciudadana) a proposal of law which would ban any type of sexual orientation and/or gender identity based discrimination. In 2005 the first ever Parade for Sexual Diversity (Marcha por la Diversidad Sexual), their own version of a Gay Pride Parade, was held in Panama. In 2006, Panama was one of 54 states supporting a UN resolution against discrimination on the grounds of sexual identity.

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