Latin American political elites’ positions on same-sex marriage, abortion, and drug legalization


What explains the attitudes of Latin American political elites towards same-sex marriage, abortion, and drug legalization? In recent years, several countries have engaged in political disputes centred on these three issues. Scholarship has explored the topic from different perspectives, ranging from theories of democracy to voters’ political behaviour. Nonetheless, the perspective of political elites is still understudied. We use data from elite surveys in sixteen Latin American countries to address this question. First, we find significant differences between and within countries and political parties, meaning these issues are far from consensual. Second, we analyse the effects of ideology, religion, and socio-demographic characteristics. We confirm that ideology and religiosity are key predictors, but a deeper analysis shows that whereas those on the right and religious are strongly opposed to these issues, those on the left and less religious are not as strongly in favour.

European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, vol. 114
João V. Guedes-Neto
João V. Guedes-Neto
Assistant Professor