LGBT rights in Burkina Faso

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LGBT rights in Burkina Faso Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso (orthographic projection).svg
Same-sex sexual intercourse legal status Legal
Gender identity/expression Unknown
Military service Unknown
Discrimination protections Unknown
Family rights
Recognition of
Same-sex marriage not constitutionally recognized
Adoption No

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) persons in Burkina Faso may face legal issues not experienced by non-LGBT citizens. Burkina Faso has no laws outlawing private same-sex sexual acts.

Laws regarding same-sex sexual acts

Both male and female same-sex sexual activity has always been legal in Burkina Faso. Age of consent is equal, regardless of sex since 1996.[1]

Recognition of same-sex unions

The Constitution of Burkina Faso does not authorize same-sex marriage and defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

La famille est la cellule de base de la société. L’Etat lui doit protection. Le mariage est fondé sur le libre consentement de l’homme et de la femme. Toute discrimination fondée sur la race, la couleur, la religion, l’ethnie, la caste, l’origine sociale, la fortune est interdite en matière de mariage. Les enfants sont égaux en droits et en devoirs dans leurs relations familiales. Les parents ont le droit naturel et le devoir d’élever et d’éduquer leurs enfants. Ceux-ci leur doivent respect et assistance.[2]

Translated into English, the Constitution says:

"The family is the basic cell of society. The State owes protection. Marriage is based on the free consent of man and woman. Any discrimination based on race, color, religion, ethnicity, caste, social origin, fortune is forbidden in marriage. Children are equal in rights and duties in family relationships. Parents have the natural right and duty to bring up and educate their children. They owe them respect and assistance."

Adoption of children

According to the U.S. Department of State, "Married, cohabiting, heterosexual couples who have been married for at least five years may adopt a child. Single applicants are almost never permitted to adopt children in Burkina Faso."[3]

Living conditions

The U.S. Department of State's 2011 Human Rights Report found that,

The law does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in employment and occupation, housing, statelessness, or access to education or health care. However, societal discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity remained a problem. Religious and traditional beliefs do not accept homosexuality, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons were reportedly occasional victims of verbal and physical abuse. There were no reports that the government responded to societal violence and discrimination against such persons. LGBT organizations had no legal presence in the country but existed unofficially. There were no reports of government or societal violence against such organizations.[4]

Summary table

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes (Always legal)
Equal age of consent Yes (Since 1996)
Anti-discrimination laws in hate speech and violence No
Anti-discrimination laws in employment No
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services No
Same-sex marriage No (Constitutional ban since 1991)
Recognition of same-sex couples No
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly in the military Emblem-question.svg
Right to change legal gender Emblem-question.svg
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

See also


  1. ^ "State Sponsored Homophobia 2016: A world survey of sexual orientation laws: criminalisation, protection and recognition" (PDF). International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. 17 May 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  2. ^ (in French) Article 23, Constitution du Burkina Faso Archived 27 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "Intercountry Adoption: Burkina Faso", Bureau of Consular Affairs, United States Department of State, November 2010[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ 2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Sudan, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State, page 23
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