LGBT rights in the Pitcairn Islands

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Pitcairn Islands on the globe (French Polynesia centered).svg
Pitcairn Islands
StatusLegal since 2001
MilitaryLGBT people allowed to serve openly (British responsibility)
Discrimination protectionsSexual orientation since 2010
Family rights
Recognition of relationshipsSame-sex marriage since 2015
AdoptionLegal since 2015
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Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the British Overseas Territory of the Pitcairn Islands enjoy most of the same rights as non-LGBT people. Same-sex sexual activity is legal, discrimination based on sexual orientation is constitutionally outlawed and same-sex marriage has been legal since 14 May 2015.

Legality of same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity has been legal in the Pitcairn Islands since 2001.[1]

Recognition of same-sex partnerships[edit]

Same-sex marriage became legal in the Pitcairn Islands on 14 May 2015; however, none of the c. 50 Pitcairn Islanders currently residing in the territory is known to be in a same-sex relationship.[2][3]

Discrimination protections[edit]

The Pitcairn Islands Constitution Order 2010 bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, among other categories,[4] reading:

[T]he expression "discriminatory" means affording different treatment to different persons on any ground such as sex, sexual orientation, race, colour, language, religion, age, disability, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.

The term "gender identity" is mentioned only twice in Pitcairn law. Firstly, the Marriage Ordinance states that "'marriage' means the union of two people regardless of their sex, sexual orientation or gender identity".[5] Secondly, the Sentencing Ordinance requires courts to take into account certain individual factors when dealing with an offender, including if the offence was committed on the basis of the victim's gender identity. Sexual orientation is also mentioned.[6]

Adoption and parenting[edit]

The 2015 same-sex marriage legislation includes a provision stating that same-sex couples may be parents to a child.[2] The Adoption of Infants Ordinance states that married couples, unmarried couples and single people may jointly apply to adopt children.[7]

According to a 2006 UK government report, there have been 9 adoptions in the Pitcairn Islands since 1954, the latest being in 1979.[8]

Military service[edit]

LGBT individuals may legally serve in the British Armed Forces, as defence is the responsibility of the United Kingdom.[9]

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes (Since 2001)
Equal age of consent Yes (Since 2001)
Anti-discrimination laws in employment Yes (Since 2010)
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services Yes (Since 2010)
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) Yes (Since 2010)
Recognition of same-sex unions (e.g. civil union) Yes (Since 2015)
Same-sex marriage Yes (Since 2015)
Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples Yes (Since 2015)
Joint adoption by same-sex couples Yes (Since 2015)
LGBT people allowed to serve openly in the military Yes (Since 2000; UK responsible for defence)
Right to change legal gender No
Access to IVF for lesbians Emblem-question.svg
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No (Banned for heterosexual couples as well)
MSMs allowed to donate blood Emblem-question.svg

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2015 State-Sponsored Homophobia report" (PDF). International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Same Sex Marriage and Civil Partnerships Ordinance 2015" (PDF). Government of the Pitcairn Islands. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 January 2016. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  3. ^ "Pitcairn Island, population 48, passes law to allow same-sex marriage". The Guardian. Associated Press. 22 June 2015. Archived from the original on 15 December 2015. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  4. ^ "The Pitcairn Constitution Order 2010" (PDF). Government of the Pitcairn Islands. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  5. ^ "Marriage Ordinance" (PDF).
  6. ^ "Sentencing Ordinance" (PDF).
  8. ^ UNITED KINGDOM OVERSEAS TERRITORIES AND CROWN DEPENDENCIES, "This report sets out the progress made in the UK’s Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies in implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child since 1999, OHCHR
  9. ^ "LGBT Rights in Pitcairn Islands". Equaldex. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 17 February 2016.