Traditions & Customs
Uruguay is a socially progressive country. Women got the vote in Uruguay 12 years before France. Uruguay is a secular state unlike Argentina, Chile or Paraguay; the Uruguayan state has not supported any religion since 1917. The population is mainly Catholic, but not very practicing.
There are a few gay and lesbian bars in Montevideo and in Punta del Este, but outside those two cities there is no public "queer" community. The only public monument to sexual diversity is in Ciudad Vieja (the old city).
However, it was the first Latin American country to pass a civil union law and is considered to be safe and welcoming to gay and lesbian visitors. Uruguay is ranked 6th in the Spartacus Gay Travel Index. Civil unions are legal in Uruguay, which convey the full rights of marriage, and gay and transgendered marriage was legalized in mid-2013. Even in rural areas, gay travelers experience little overt discrimination.