Document Type


Publication Date

June 2019


This Article argues that the Inter-American System of Human Rights has contributed to a family system that embraces gender equality and non-heterosexual and gender non-conforming families. It argues that the system had, from its inception, an expansive idea of the family that included associations outside marriage. This was the basis for a robust development of the concepts of equality and non-discrimination by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Although the IACtHR has only decided a handful of cases related to the non-heterosexual family, its rich case law on equality and the right to family is favorable to family diversity, including marriage equality. The Inter-Amerrican system, however, must be careful not to fall into the trap of privileging the married family after so much progress towards family diversity.