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Scene and Culture
Homosexuality is legal in Panama. Recent years has seen a developing scene and there are now about 4 gay bars and 3 gay clubs in Panama City.
There have also been attempts to fight for gay and lesbian rights. In 1996 Panama's first lesbian and gay organisation Asociación Hombres y Mujeres Nuevos de Panama (AHMNP) was founded. It recently received legal recognition after a 3 year battle with the authorities and the church. It is still the only gay and lesbian organisation in Panama. Lat year they presented a petition calling for Partnership rights, and in June 2005 Panama first Gay Pride March was held with 100 AHMNP demonstrators.
Gay Age of Consent
Lesbian Age of Consent
Homosexuality is technically legal in Panama with no laws prohibiting consensual homosexual relations. However, discrimination against gays still exists in the law for example under an executive decree dating back to 1949 gay public sex is punishable by a fine of $500 or 1 year imprisonment. No such heterosexual offence exists. Gays and lesbians are also banned from both the armed forces and the police
Article 39 of the constitution forbids the creation of "companies, associations or foundations" that are contrary to moral or legal order. In the past this has been used to refuse registration of gay organisations.
There is no positive legal protection of gays and lesbians in Panama such as anti-discrimination legislation.
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Panama has a tropical climate with little seasonal variation. The best time to to visit is January to April but you can probably visit any time of the year.
The rainy season is from April to December and humidity is around 80% all year round. The prevailing winds are the northerlies and north easterlies throughout most of the year and the south westerlies during Autumn. Average annual precipitation varies from 1,780 mm to 2,540 depending on the region. Average temperature ranges in Colon are from 22c to 32c.