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A growing of governments around the world are considering whether to grant legal recognition to same-sex marriages. So far, 30 countries and territories have enacted national laws allowing gays and lesbians to marry, mostly in Europe and the Americas. In Mexico, some jurisdictions allow same-sex couples to wed, while others do not. Below is a list of countries that have legalized the practice, with the most recent countries to do so shown first.
In Octobersame-sex Im Brazil couples looking for sex became legal in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland had been the last part of the UK where same-sex marriage was banned; England and Wales moved to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed in and Scotland followed in see below. The decision, which went into effect immediately, makes the Andean mountain nation the fifth country in Latin America to allow gays and lesbians to wed.
On Jan. The country had granted gay and lesbian couples the right to enter into a civil partnership in On Dec. Along with New Zealand, Australia became the second country in the Asia-Pacific region to make same-sex marriage legal. On June 30,Germany became the 15th European country to enact legislation allowing same-sex couples to wed.
On April 28,Colombia became the fourth country in Catholic-majority South America to legalize same-sex marriage, following Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. Eleven years after same-sex marriage was first made legal in Massachusetts, the U. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution guarantees it throughout the country. Before the ruling, 36 states and the District of Columbia had legalized same-sex marriage. See a timeline highlighting changes in state policies from On May 22,Catholic-majority Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage through a popular referendum.
Same-sex marriage became legal in Finland starting in Finland becomes the last of the five Nordic countries to legalize same-sex marriage, ing Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. In addition to allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt, the legislation sets the legal age of marriage at 18 and eliminates the existing requirement that couples who want to marry must first submit to a medical exam. On Feb. In addition to allowing same-sex couples to wed, the measure gives churches and other religious groups the Im Brazil couples looking for sex of deciding whether or not they want to conduct such marriages.
The two largest churches in Scotland — the Church of Scotland and the Roman Catholic Church — oppose same-sex marriage and lobbied against the bill. The day before, the measure had won final passage in the British Parliament after months of debate.
The law only applies to England and Wales because Scotland and Northern Ireland are semi-autonomous and have separate legislative bodies to decide many domestic issues, including the definition of marriage. The new law in England and Wales, which was a priority for British Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader David Cameron, allowed gay and lesbian couples to marry beginning March 29, However, the law prohibits same-sex weddings within the Church of England, which continues to define marriage as between one man and one woman.
On May 18, French President Francois Hollande ed into law a measure legalizing same-sex marriage, making France the 14th country to grant gays and lesbians the right to wed. True to their campaign promises, Hollande and the Im Brazil couples looking for sex have pushed through a law that not only legalizes same-sex marriage but also gives gay and lesbian couples the right to adopt children—a provision that has drawn especially strong criticism from French Catholic leaders. While recent polls show that a majority of French adults support the law, opposition to the change has been intense.
Since the beginning ofseveral anti-gay marriage protests with occasionally volatile crowds ing in the hundreds of thousands have taken place in Paris and elsewhere. On April 17, the New Zealand Im Brazil couples looking for sex gave final approval to a measure that legalizes same-sex marriage, making the Pacific island nation the 13th country in the world and the first in the Asia-Pacific region to allow gays and lesbians to wed. The law took effect in August InNew Zealand enacted legislation allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil unions. The measure not only legalizes same-sex marriage but also allows for gay and lesbian couples to adopt children.
Civil unions have been permitted in Uruguay sinceand gay and lesbian couples were given adoption rights in Uruguay is among the most secular countries in Latin America. A Pew Research Center study on the global religious landscape as of found that roughly four-in-ten Uruguayans are unaffiliated with a particular religion. About 58 percent of Uruguayans are Christian; in the Latin America-Caribbean region as a whole, 90 percent of the population is Christian. The measure was enacted into law a few days later when Queen Margrethe II gave her royal assent to the bill.
InDenmark became the first country to allow same-sex couples to register as domestic partners. And inthe country enacted a law allowing gay couples in registered partnerships the right to adopt children. With the legalization of gay marriage, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark which is the state churchis required to allow same-sex couples to marry in churches.
In addition, the law leaves it up to other religious groups to determine whether or not to allow same-sex weddings in its churches. In JulyArgentina became the first country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage. In spite of vigorous opposition from the Catholic Church and evangelical Protestant churches, the measure passed both houses of the Argentine legislature and was ed into law by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.
The law grants same-sex couples who marry all the rights and responsibilities enjoyed by heterosexual couples, including the right to adopt children. In JunePortugal became the eighth country to legalize same-sex marriage. Its parliament had passed the measure legalizing gay marriage earlier in In Aprilthe Constitutional Court declared the law to be constitutionally valid. It was ed by Silva in May of that year and took effect one month later. A measure legalizing same-sex marriage passed the Icelandic legislature in June Iceland had allowed same-sex couples to register as domestic partners since A decade later, the parliament passed a measure allowing gay couples to adopt children.
In Aprilthe Swedish parliament voted by an overwhelming Im Brazil couples looking for sex to legalize same-sex marriage.
Gay couples in Sweden had been allowed to register for civil unions since The law allows gays and lesbians to marry in both religious and civil ceremonies, but it does not require clergy to officiate at such ceremonies.
The Lutheran-affiliated Church of Sweden, to which roughly three-quarters of all Swedes belong, has offered blessings for same-sex partnerships since January Since Januarygay couples in Norway legally have been able to marry, adopt children and undergo artificial insemination.
The new law, which was passed inreplaced a law permitting civil unions. It passed despite resistance from members of the Christian Democratic Party and the Progress Party, as well as a public Im Brazil couples looking for sex over state funding for fertility treatments for lesbian couples. The largest religious group in the country, the Lutheran-affiliated Church of Norway, initially voted to prohibit its pastors from conducting same-sex weddings.
But the Church of Norway changed course and began sanctioning same-sex weddings in early The new law allows for religious institutions and civil officers to refuse to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies, a provision that critics claim violates the rights of same-sex couples under the constitution. The new measure passed by a margin of greater than five-to-one, with support coming from both the governing African National Congress as well as the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance.
A closely divided Spanish parliament legalized same-sex marriage inguaranteeing identical rights to all married couples regardless of sexual orientation. Vatican officials, as well as the Catholic Spanish Bishops Conference, strongly criticized the law, and large crowds demonstrated in Madrid for and against the measure.
The high court ruled that the lower court judges lacked legal standing to bring the suits. Same-sex couples in Canada gained most of the legal benefits of marriage in when the federal and provincial governments extended common law marriages to gay and lesbian couples. Inthe Canadian Parliament passed legislation making same-sex marriage legal nationwide. Inlawmakers defeated an effort by the ruling Conservative Party of Canada to reconsider the issue, leaving the law unchanged. Beginning inthe Belgian parliament offered limited rights to same-sex couples through registered partnerships.
Same-sex couples could register with a city clerk and formally assume t responsibility for a household. Five years later, in Januarythe Belgian parliament legalized same-sex marriage, giving gay and lesbian couples the same tax and inheritance rights as heterosexual couples. Support for the law came from both the Flemish-speaking North and the French-speaking South, and the law generated surprisingly little controversy across Im Brazil couples looking for sex country.
The long-dominant Christian Democratic Party, traditionally allied with the Catholic Church, was out of power when the parliament passed the measure. The law allowed the marriages of Belgian same-sex couples and recognized as married those from other countries where same-sex marriage was legal.
Those provisions were broadened in to allow any same-sex couple to marry as long as one member of the couple had lived in Belgium for at least three months. Inthe parliament also granted same-sex partners the right to adopt children. In Decemberthe Netherlands became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage when the Dutch parliament passed, by a three-to-one margin, a landmark bill allowing the practice.
The legislation gave same-sex couples the right to marry, divorce and adopt children. The only opposition in parliament came from the Christian Democratic Party, which at the time was not part of the governing coalition. Although Muslim and conservative Christian groups continue to oppose the law, same-sex marriage is widely accepted by the Dutch public.
Inthe Mexican Supreme Court issued a ruling making it much easier for gay and lesbian Im Brazil couples looking for sex to wed. The decision gave same-sex couples the right to seek a court injunction against state laws banning gay marriage; although it did not technically legalize same-sex unions nationwide, it was a major step in that direction. Sincethe southern Mexican state of Quintana Roo also has allowed gay marriages. Inthe congress of the northern state of Coahuila approved same-sex marriage, and inneighboring Chihuahua followed suit.
About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world.
It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.
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