Same-sex marriage has been legalized in in twenty-seven countries, including the United States, and civil unions are recognized in many Western democracies. Yet same-sex marriage remains banned in many countries, and the expansion of broader lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender LGBT rights has been uneven globally. International organizations, including the United Nations, have issued resolutions in support of LGBT rights, but human rights groups say these organizations have limited power to enforce these newly recognized rights. Civil Society. Javier Corrales, a professor at Amherst College who focuses on LGBT rights in Latin America, points to income levels and the influence of religion in politics, as well as the overall strength of democracy, to explain regional divergences [PDF].
Marriage open to same-sex couples rings: individual cases. Main article: Same-sex marriage in Germany. The decree took effect on 11 November Main article: Same-sex marriage in Sweden. McCarthy, Justin. Ina pair of economists at Emory University tied the passage of state bans on same-sex marriage in the United States to an increase in the rates of HIV infection. Israel recognizes same-sex marriages The twins from holic in other countries, and same-sex couples enjoy civil benefits, including residency permits for the Politics and same sex marriages of Israeli citizens. Main marfiages Same-sex marriage in Nigeria. It jarriages 48 percent in and 40 percent in Same-sex marriage became legal in Taiwan in Mayas the legislature implemented a ruling the top court issued two years earlier.
Tits at school. Introduction
On 14 Februarya bill legalizing same-sex marriage was introduced in the Peruvian Congress. Supreme Court declined to consider the case, Baker v. Denying these marriages is a form of minority discrimination. The New York Times. The court ruled on 1 December that the existing marriage laws violated the equality clause of the Bill of Rights because they discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation. However, the matter should have been considered in Sister-in-laws pregnant gift ideas context marriwges of marriage, but of registering familial partnership. That ruling led to federal and state actions to explicitly abridge marriage on the basis of sex in order to prevent the marriages of same-sex couples from being recognized by law, the most prominent of which was the federal DOMA. The Republican National Convention approved a platform that asserts the right of the federal government and each state to deny legal recognition to same-sex marriages and Politics and same sex marriages a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. On 22 MayPenis pikls mount pleasant held a referendum. Archived from the original on February 14, March 7, El Salvador. New Jersey began issuing same-sex marriage licenses on October 21,Polltics a September 27 state superior court decision that found an equal protection right of same-sex couples to marry. March 3, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
This article analyzes the evolution of gay and lesbian rights and same-sex marriage in American public opinion.
- Edited by Craig A.
- The history of same-sex marriage in the United States dates from the early s, when the first lawsuits seeking legal recognition of same-sex relationships brought the question of civil marriage rights and benefits for same-sex couples to public attention though they proved unsuccessful.
- Should Same-Sex Marriages be Legalized?
Same-sex marriage has been legalized in in twenty-seven countries, including the United States, and civil unions are recognized in many Western democracies. Yet same-sex marriage remains banned in many countries, and the expansion of broader lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender LGBT rights has been uneven globally. International organizations, including the United Nations, have issued resolutions in support of LGBT rights, but human rights groups say these organizations have limited power to enforce these newly recognized rights.
Civil Society. Javier Corrales, a professor at Amherst College who focuses on LGBT rights in Latin America, points to income levels and the influence of religion in politics, as well as the overall strength of democracy, to explain regional divergences [PDF].
While same-sex marriage has made the most gains in Western democracies, antidiscrimination laws are gaining traction worldwide. In , seventy-two countries, including some that retain sodomy laws, had protections against employment discrimination [PDF] based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
In the council passed a resolution to combat anti-LGBT violence and discrimination. Two years later, the United Nations appointed its first-ever independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Activists in the international arena have focused on antiviolence and antidiscrimination campaigns rather than same-sex marriage. She adds that not all countries that allow same-sex marriage allow couples to jointly adopt and cautions against equating the right to marry with freedom from discrimination.
For example, in the United States, where same-sex couples can marry, federal law does not prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and employees can legally be fired on the basis of their sexual orientation in more than half of states. The U. Supreme Court ruled on June 26, , that the Constitution grants same-sex couples the right to marry, effectively legalizing same-sex marriage in the thirteen states where it remained banned.
The five-to-four ruling, which extends to U. The ruling came less than two decades after President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act DOMA , which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman, thereby denying same-sex couples federal marriage benefits, such as access to health care, social security, and tax benefits, as well as green cards for immigrant spouses of U. Despite these Supreme Court rulings, a debate continues in the United States between advocates of legal equality and individuals and institutions that object to same-sex marriages on the basis of religious belief.
In June , the U. However, the court chose not to issue a broader ruling on whether businesses have a right to deny goods or services to LGBT people for religious reasons. More than half of the countries that allow same-sex marriage are in Western Europe. Italy is the largest Western European country where same-sex marriage is not legal; its parliament, however, approved civil unions for same-sex couples in Support for same-sex marriage is weaker in Eastern Europe.
A Pew Research Center poll found that support for legal recognition of same-sex marriage is 16 percent in Belarus and just 9 percent in Ukraine.
Support in Poland and Hungary, which both have constitutional bans on same-sex marriage, is 32 percent and 27 percent, respectively. At least ten other countries in Central and Eastern Europe have such prohibitions.
Hungary and the Czech Republic, however, do recognize same-sex partnerships; in , a Budapest court ruled that same-sex marriages performed abroad must be recognized as partnerships. Estonia also allows civil unions, though popular support for same-sex marriage in the Baltic states is low. In Chechnya, a semiautonomous republic within Russia, dozens of men suspected of being gay have been detained, tortured, and even killed since in a crackdown on the LGBT community; a new wave of detentions and killings was reported in late Despite growing support for same-sex marriage in many European countries, divisions remain.
While in Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage through popular referendum, lawmakers in Northern Ireland have defeated bills to legalize same-sex marriage five times.
In Canada became the first country in the Western Hemisphere to legalize same-sex marriage. Support for same-sex marriage varies across the region.
In Central America, support is much lower: 33 percent of Costa Ricans, 28 percent of Nicaraguans, and 27 percent of Ecuadorians support same-sex marriage. Central American countries do not recognize same-sex couples, though some have limited antidiscrimination protections. Support for same-sex marriage also remains low in the Caribbean, at just 16 percent in Jamaica and 23 percent in the Dominican Republic.
Chile allows same-sex civil unions. The governments of Bolivia, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Paraguay have enacted constitutional bans on same-sex marriage. Cuba, where homosexuality was once punished by internment in forced-labor camps , has changed markedly in recent years; the National Assembly passed an antidiscrimination law in Same-sex unions, however, are still not recognized.
New Zealand and Australia are the only Pacific Rim countries in which same-sex marriage is legal. Same-sex marriage became legal in Taiwan in May , as the legislature implemented a ruling the top court issued two years earlier. Voters had voiced their opposition to the ruling in a advisory referendum. A district in Tokyo began recognizing same-sex unions in ; ILGA found a year later that only 33 percent of Japanese supported same-sex marriage. Lawmakers in Thailand and Vietnam have considered bills to legalize same-sex marriage or civil partnerships.
Just 31 percent of people in China, 30 percent in Malaysia, and 14 percent in Indonesia say same-sex marriage should be legal, according to ILGA. Same-sex relations between men are banned in parts of Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar , and Singapore , and in Brunei they are punishable by death. Rights groups have reported increased threats and violence against the LGBT community in Indonesia since , including discriminatory comments by several public officials.
In late India lifted a colonial-era ban on gay sex. Nepal has enacted some protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation, and in a government-appointed panel recommended that lawmakers legalize same-sex marriage.
Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan allow people to register as a third gender in official documents. There is little information on public attitudes toward homosexuality in South and Central Asia. ILGA found 35 percent of Indians and 30 percent of Pakistanis in thought same-sex marriage should be legal. Support in Kazakhstan stood at 12 percent. Same-sex relations are illegal in much of the region and are punishable by death in Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.
In , Lebanese courts set a potential precedent for decriminalization. Israel recognizes same-sex marriages performed in other countries, and same-sex couples enjoy civil benefits, including residency permits for the partners of Israeli citizens.
Israel stands apart from its neighbors in public attitudes toward same-sex couples: according to the ILGA survey [PDF], 49 percent of Israelis said same-sex marriage should be legal, compared to 19 percent of respondents in the United Arab Emirates, 16 percent in Egypt, and 14 percent in both Jordan and Morocco. South Africa is the only sub-Saharan African country where same-sex couples can marry. Same-sex relations are illegal on much of the continent and are punishable by death [PDF] in Mauritania and Sudan, as well as in parts of Nigeria and Somalia.
Polling by Afrobarometer in found that 78 percent of Africans across thirty-three countries were intolerant of homosexuality. However, there have been recent advances: Afrobarometer found that majorities in three countries in addition to South Africa—Cape Verde, Mozambique, and Namibia—are tolerant of homosexuality. In Mozambique decriminalized same-sex relations.
Omar G. Women and Women's Rights. Vogelstein and Rebecca Turkington October 28, Food and Water Security. Patrick October 3, The Internationalist. United Nations. Backgrounder by Jonathan Masters August 12, In Brief by Brad W. Setser August 8, Women and Economic Growth.
Skip to main content. Backgrounder Current political and economic issues succinctly explained. Introduction Same-sex marriage has been legalized in in twenty-seven countries, including the United States, and civil unions are recognized in many Western democracies. Catherine Powell. Caroline Bettinger-Lopez. Elliott Abrams. What is important here is the gradual building of consensus.
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email. A recent spate of state laws to restrict abortion services in the United States has reignited debate over the procedure. The UN General Assembly hosts a much-watched debate of world leaders each year but has struggled to make its work more substantive. The seventy-fourth session will likely be dominated by issues including climate change, tensions in the Middle East, and the humanitarian situation in Venezuela. For many policymakers, economic sanctions have become the tool of choice to respond to major geopolitical challenges such as terrorism and conflict.
The Trump administration has declared China a currency manipulator, but what that means for the ongoing trade war is far from clear.
In March, the Assembly passed the final bill in a 51—28 vote. On 17 October , a married same-sex couple filed an action of unconstitutionality seeking to recognise same-sex marriages performed abroad. Hinkle , ruling in Brenner v. Nelson saw the Supreme Court of the United States decline to become involved. With the advent of same-sex marriage, this restriction was dropped. February 13,
Politics and same sex marriages. Overview/Background
Homosexuality is an accepted lifestyle nowadays with most evidence strongly supporting biological causation. Denying these marriages is a form of minority discrimination.
It doesn't hurt society or anyone in particular. The only thing that should matter in marriage is love. The number of child adoptions should increase since gay couples cannot pro-create although some might see an increase in gay adoptions as an argument against same-sex marriages. It encourages people to have strong family values and give up high-risk sexual lifestyles.
The same financial benefits that apply to man-woman marriages apply to same-sex marriages. Again, the Court ruled that it must. On 29 June , two family judges in Cuenca, Ecuador ruled that the Civil Registry must issue same-sex marriage licenses on request, stating that the decision of the IACHR trumped the Ecuadorian Constitution 's definition of marriage. The Registry appealed, but the Constitutional Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage on 12 June On 8 August , the Costa Rican Supreme Court declared Costa Rica's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, and gave the Legislative Assembly 18 months to reform the law accordingly, otherwise the ban would be abolished automatically.
Besides Ecuador and Costa Rica, lawsuits regarding same-sex marriage have been filed in Honduras,  Panama,  Paraguay to recognize marriages performed abroad ,  and Peru,  all of which are under the jurisdiction of the IACHR. Same-sex marriage is also due to become legally performed and recognized in Costa Rica [f].
Additionally, Armenia and Israel recognize the marriages of same-sex couples validly entered into in other countries, though as of early there is no record of anyone taking advantage of the ruling in Armenia. Legal cases have been filed in a number of other countries.
On 15 July , the Argentine Senate approved a bill extending marriage rights to same-sex couples. Australia became the second nation in Oceania to legalise same-sex marriage when the Australian Parliament passed a bill on 7 December Since 1 January , same-sex couples have been allowed to enter registered partnerships Eingetragene Partnerschaft. On 20 November , the Greens introduced a bill in the Austrian Parliament that would legalise same-sex marriage.
In December , the Vienna Administrative Court dismissed a case challenging the same-sex marriage ban. The plaintiffs appealed to the Constitutional Court. Thus, same-sex couples have been allowed to marry since 1 January The Court also decided that civil unions will be open for both same-sex and different-sex couples from that date onwards.
Belgium became the second country in the world to legally recognize same-sex marriages when a bill passed by the Belgian Federal Parliament took effect on 1 June A statute legalized adoption by same-sex spouses. It included almost all of the rights available to married couples in Brazil.
Between mid and May , same-sex couples had their cohabitation issues converted into marriages in several Brazil states with the approval of a state judge. All legal Brazilian marriages were always recognized all over Brazil. In November , the Court of Bahia equalized marriage in the state of Bahia. In Rio de Janeiro, the State Court facilitated its realization by district judges in agreement with the equalization instead of ordering notaries to accept same-sex marriages in demand as all others.
On 14 May , the Justice's National Council of Brazil issued a ruling requiring all civil registers of the country to perform same-sex marriages by a 14—1 vote, thus legalizing same-sex marriage in the entire country. Legal recognition of same-sex marriage in Canada followed a series of constitutional challenges based on the equality provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
In the first such case, Halpern v. Canada Attorney General , same-sex marriage ceremonies performed in Ontario on 14 January were subsequently validated when the common law , mixed-sex definition of marriage was held to be unconstitutional. Similar rulings had legalized same-sex marriage in eight provinces and one territory when the Civil Marriage Act defined marriage throughout Canada as "the lawful union of two persons to the exclusion of all others".
In February , a series of rulings by the Constitutional Court meant that same-sex couples could apply for all the rights that heterosexual couples have in de facto unions uniones de hecho. On 26 July , the Constitutional Court of Colombia ordered the Congress to pass the legislation giving same-sex couples similar rights to marriage by 20 June If such a law were not passed by then, same-sex couples would be granted these rights automatically.
In October , Senator Armando Benedetti introduced a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. It initially only allowed for civil unions, but he amended the text.
This was the first same-sex couple married in Colombia. In September , two civil court judges married two same-sex couples. On 7 April , the Court ruled that marriage doesn't exclusively apply to opposite-sex couples. On 28 April , the Constitutional Court rules that same-sex couples are allowed to enter into civil marriages in the country and that judges and notaries are barred from refusing to perform same-sex weddings. On 10 February , the Constitutional Court of Costa Rica announced it would hear a case seeking to legalize same-sex marriage in Costa Rica and declare the country's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.
Since this was an Advisory Opinion, its content is not binding. Within hours of the Court issuing its AO, the government of Costa Rica agreed to adhere to it and fully implement it. Costa Rica's Supreme Electoral Court the institution in charge of civil registration , including the issuance of marriage certificates announced that it will obey the ruling of the IACHR and will adapt the necessary by-laws once the Executive Branch notifies the ruling.
Their marriage was set to be performed on 20 January, and would have been the first same-sex marriage in Costa Rica,  Shortly before the marriage date, however, the Superior Council of Notaries stated that notaries cannot perform same-sex marriages until legislative change or a Supreme Court decision, putting them at odds with the Costa Rican Government and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which stated in its ruling that legislative change is unnecessary and that governments may simply issue an executive decree legalising same-sex marriage.
Carlos Alvarado Quesada , who supports LGBT rights and favors the implementation of the ruling, won the election with On 8 August , the Supreme Court of Costa Rica ruled that the prohibition of same-sex marriage in the Family Code is unconstitutional, giving Congress 18 months to reform the law or the prohibition will be automatically lifted without legislation so it will be legal after 26 May On 25 May , Denmark wrote history as the first country to make it legal to be in a registered partnership with one of the same sex.
A registered partnership was the same as a civil marriage, but was not seen as marriage in the eyes of the church. Axel and Eigil Axgil were the first ones to get married this way. On 7 June , the Folketing Danish Parliament approved new laws regarding same-sex civil and religious marriage.
These laws permit same-sex couples to get married in the Church of Denmark. The bills received royal assent on 12 June and took effect on 15 June On 26 May , Greenland , one of two other constituent countries in the Realm of Denmark , unanimously passed a law legalising same-sex marriage. The bill passed its second reading on 26 April and was approved at its third reading on 29 April by 19 votes to The law took effect on 1 July In , gay rights activist Pamela Troya filed a lawsuit to strike down Ecuador's same-sex marriage ban and legalise same-sex marriage in the country.
The lawsuit remains pending. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling regarding the legalisation of same-sex marriage in countries that have ratified the American Convention on Human Rights applies to Ecuador. In May , the Ecuador Supreme Court ruled, in a lesbian parenting case, that the IACHR ruling is fully binding on Ecuador and that the country must also implement the ruling in due course. Same sex marriage took effect in Ecuador on 8 July following the Constitutional Court ruling.
Registered partnerships have been legal in Finland since A citizens' initiative was launched to put the issue before the Parliament of Finland. The bill passed the second and final vote by —90 on 12 December ,  and was signed by the President on 20 February The law took effect on 1 March Since November , France has had a civil union scheme known as a civil solidarity pact that is open to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.
The French Government introduced a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, Bill , in the National Assembly on 17 November Article 1 of the bill defining marriage as an agreement between two people was passed on 2 February in its first reading by a —97 vote.
On 12 February , the National Assembly approved the entire bill in a — vote. On 12 April , the upper house of the French Parliament voted to legalise same-sex marriage.
The law also allows the recognition in France of same-sex couples' marriages that occurred abroad before the bill's enactment. The main right-wing opposition party UMP challenged the law in the Constitutional Council , which had one month to rule on whether the law conformed to the Constitution. The Constitutional Council had previously ruled that the issue of same-sex marriage was one for the Parliament to decide and there was only little hope for UMP to overturn the Parliament's vote.
Prior to the legalisation of same-sex marriage, Germany was one of the first countries to legislate registered partnerships Eingetragene Lebenspartnerschaft for same-sex couples, which provided most of the rights of marriage.
The law came into effect on 1 August , and the act was progressively amended on subsequent occasions to reflect court rulings expanding the rights of registered partners. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Germany since 1 October Same-sex marriage was introduced in Iceland through legislation establishing a gender-neutral definition of marriage introduced by the Coalition Government of the Social Democratic Alliance and Left-Green Movement.
The legislation was passed unanimously by the Icelandic Althing on 11 June , and took effect on 27 June , replacing an earlier system of registered partnerships for same-sex couples.
Prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage, the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act allowed same sex couples to enter civil partnerships. The Act came into force on 1 January and gave same-sex couples rights and responsibilities similar to, but not equal to, those of civil marriage.
On 22 May , Ireland held a referendum. The referendum proposed to add to the Irish Constitution : "marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex". Higgins signed the result of the May referendum into law,  which made Ireland the first country in the world to approve same-sex marriage at a nationwide referendum. The Parliament approved a bill to legalise same-sex marriage on 18 June Prime Minister Xavier Bettel married Gauthier Destenay, with whom he had been in a civil partnership since Malta has recognized same-sex unions since April , following the enactment of the Civil Unions Act , first introduced in September It established civil unions with same rights, responsibilities, and obligations as marriage, including the right of joint adoption and recognition of foreign same-sex marriage.
The first foreign same-sex marriage was registered on 29 April and the first civil union was performed on 14 June It was signed into law and published in the Government Gazette on 1 August In individual cases, same-sex couples have been given judicial approval to marry in all other states.
Since August , same-sex marriages performed within Mexico are recognized by the 31 states without exception. On 21 December , the Legislative Assembly of Mexico City formerly the Federal District of Mexico City legalized same-sex marriages and adoption by same-sex couples. The law was enacted eight days later and became effective in early March On 28 November , the first two same-sex marriages occurred in Quintana Roo after it was discovered that Quintana Roo's Civil Code did not explicitly prohibit same-sex marriage,  but these marriages were later annulled by the Governor of Quintana Roo in April On 11 February , the Congress of Coahuila approved adoptions by same-sex couples.
A bill legalizing same-sex marriages passed on 1 September , making Coahuila the first state and second jurisdiction after Mexico City to reform its Civil Code to allow for legal same-sex marriages. On 12 June , the Governor of Chihuahua announced that his administration would no longer oppose same-sex marriages in the state. The order was effective immediately, thus making Chihuahua the third state to legalize such unions.
On 3 June , the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation released a "jurisprudential thesis" that found state-laws defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman unconstitutional.
The ruling standardized court procedures across Mexico to authorize same-sex marriages. However, the process is still lengthy and more expensive than that for an opposite-sex marriage, as the ruling did not invalidate any state laws, meaning same-sex couples will be denied the right to wed and will have to turn to the courts for individual injunctions Spanish : amparo.
However, given the nature of the ruling, judges and courts throughout Mexico must approve any application for a same-sex marriage. On 25 June , following the Supreme Court's ruling striking down district same-sex marriage bans, the Civil Registry of Guerrero announced that they had planned a collective same-sex marriage ceremony for 10 July and indicated that there would have to be a change to the law to allow gender-neutral marriage, passed through the state Legislature before the official commencement.
On 17 December , the Congress of Nayarit approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. The Netherlands was the first country to extend marriage laws to include same-sex couples, following the recommendation of a special commission appointed to investigate the issue in A same-sex marriage bill passed the House of Representatives and the Senate in , taking effect on 1 April In the Dutch Caribbean special municipalities of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba , marriage is open to same-sex couples.
A law enabling same-sex couples to marry in these municipalities passed and came into effect on 10 October New Zealand's dependent territory, Tokelau , and associated states, Cook Islands and Niue , have their own marriage laws and do not perform or recognise same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage became legal in Norway on 1 January when a gender-neutral marriage bill was enacted after being passed by the Norwegian legislature, the Storting , in June Gender-neutral marriage replaced Norway's previous system of registered partnerships for same-sex couples.
Couples in registered partnerships are able to retain that status or convert their registered partnership to a marriage. No new registered partnerships may be created. Portugal created de facto unions similar to common-law marriage for cohabiting opposite-sex partners in , and extended these unions to same-sex couples in However, the extension did not allow for same-sex adoption, either jointly or of stepchildren.
On 11 February , Parliament approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. The Portuguese President promulgated the law on 8 April and the law was effective on 5 June , making Portugal the eighth country to legalize nationwide same-sex marriage; however, adoption was still denied for same-sex couples. In December , the Portuguese Parliament approved a bill to recognise adoptions rights for same-sex couples. Legal recognition of same-sex marriages in South Africa came about as a result of the Constitutional Court 's decision in the case of Minister of Home Affairs v Fourie.
The court ruled on 1 December that the existing marriage laws violated the equality clause of the Bill of Rights because they discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation. The court gave Parliament one year to rectify the inequality.
It became law on 30 November South Africa became the fifth country, the first in Africa, and the second outside Europe, to legalize same-sex marriage. Spain was the third country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, which has been legal since 3 July , and was supported by the majority of the Spanish people. King Juan Carlos , who by law has up to 30 days to decide whether to grant royal assent to laws, signed it on 1 July The law was published on 2 July Same-sex marriage in Sweden has been legal since 1 May , following the adoption of a new gender-neutral law on marriage by the Swedish Parliament on 1 April , making Sweden the seventh country in the world to open marriage to same-sex couples nationwide.
Marriage replaced Sweden's registered partnerships for same-sex couples. Existing registered partnerships between same-sex couples remained in force with an option to convert them into marriages. Taiwan is the only country in Asia where same-sex marriage is legal. On 22 December , a proposed amendment to the Civil Code that would legalise same-sex marriage was due to go under review by the Judiciary Committee.
If the amendment passes the committee stage, it would then be voted on at the plenary session of the Legislative Yuan in The amendment, called the marriage equality amendment, would insert neutral terms into the Civil Code replacing ones that imply heterosexual marriage, effectively legalising same-sex marriage. It would also allow same-sex couples to adopt children. In October , two new same-sex marriage bills were introduced to the Legislative Yuan. Subsequently, protests have been staged by groups opposing and by groups supporting legalisation.
On 24 May , the Constitutional Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry, and gave the Taiwanese Government two years to amend the law to that effect. It was also ruled that if the law was not amended after two years, same-sex couples would automatically be able to register valid marriage applications in Taiwan. On 17 May , lawmakers in Taiwan approved a bill legalising same-sex marriage. Since , same-sex couples have been allowed to enter into civil partnerships , a separate union providing the legal consequences of marriage.
In , the High Court rejected a legal bid by a British lesbian couple who had married in Canada to have their union recognised as a marriage in the UK rather than a civil partnership. In September , the Coalition Government announced its intention to introduce same-sex civil marriage in England and Wales by the May general election.
In May , three religious groups Quakers, Liberal Judaism and Unitarians sent a letter to David Cameron, asking that they be allowed to solemnise same-sex weddings.
In June , the UK Government completed the consultation to allow civil marriage for same-sex couples in England and Wales. In December , the Prime Minister, David Cameron , announced that, whilst he favoured allowing same-sex marriage within a religious context, provision would be made guaranteeing no religious institution would be required to perform such ceremonies. The Scottish Government conducted a three-month-long consultation that ended on 9 December The analysis was published in July Whilst the Scottish Government was in favour of same-sex marriage, it stated that no religious body would be forced to hold such ceremonies once legislation is enacted.
On 4 February , the Scottish Parliament overwhelmingly passed legislation legalising same-sex marriage. The Northern Ireland Executive has stated that it does not intend to introduce legislation allowing for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland. Same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions are treated as civil partnerships. In February , Bermuda passed the Domestic Partnership Act , revoking same-sex marriage, which had been legalised by a May Supreme Court ruling. On 23 November , the court upheld the Supreme Court's ruling, by which same-sex marriage became again legal in Bermuda.
In the Crown dependencies , same-sex marriage has been legal in the Isle of Man since 22 July , in Guernsey and Alderney since 2 May and 14 June , respectively and in Jersey since 1 July Same-sex marriage in the United States expanded from one state in to all fifty states in through various state court rulings, state legislation, direct popular votes, and federal court rulings.
The fifty states each have separate marriage laws , which must adhere to rulings by the Supreme Court of the United States that recognize marriage as a fundamental right that is guaranteed by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution , as first established in the landmark civil rights case of Loving v. Civil rights campaigning in support of marriage without distinction as to sex or sexual orientation began in the s.
Nelson saw the Supreme Court of the United States decline to become involved. Lewin that it was unconstitutional under the state constitution for the state to abridge marriage on the basis of sex. That ruling led to federal and state actions to explicitly abridge marriage on the basis of sex in order to prevent the marriages of same-sex couples from being recognized by law, the most prominent of which was the federal DOMA.
Department of Public Health that it was unconstitutional under the state constitution for the state to abridge marriage on the basis of sex.
From through to , as the tide of public opinion continued to move towards support of same-sex marriage, various state court rulings, state legislation, direct popular votes referendums and initiatives , and federal court rulings established same-sex marriage in thirty-six of the fifty states. The first two decades of the 21st century saw same-sex marriage receive support from prominent figures in the civil rights movement , including Coretta Scott King , John Lewis , Julian Bond , and Mildred Loving.
Windsor , leading to federal recognition of same-sex marriage, with federal benefits for married couples connected to either the state of residence or the state in which the marriage was solemnized.
Hodges that the fundamental right of same-sex couples to marry on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples, with all the accompanying rights and responsibilities, is guaranteed by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The ruling of the Supreme Court in Obergefell occurred following decades of consistently rising national public support for same-sex marriage in the United States , with support continuing to rise thereafter. The United States of America is the most populous country in the world to have established same-sex marriage nationwide. Uruguay's Chamber of Deputies passed a bill on 12 December , to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. On 10 April , the Chamber of Deputies passed the amended bill by a two-thirds majority 71— The president promulgated the law on 3 May and it took effect on 5 August.
Armenia has historically had few protections or recognition in law of same-sex couples. This changed in July , when the Ministry of Justice revealed that all marriages performed abroad are valid in Armenia, including marriages between people of the same sex. As of early , "no such recognition has yet been documented.
The Bulgarian Constitution forbids the legalisation of same-sex marriage, stipulating that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.
In late , a Bulgarian same-sex couple, who married in the United Kingdom , filed a lawsuit in order to have their marriage recognised. The couple, an Australian woman and her French spouse, had married in France in , but were denied residency in Bulgaria a year later when they attempted to move there.
Michelle Bachelet , the President of Chile, who was elected to a second term in March , promised to work for the implementation of same-sex marriage and had a majority in both houses of Congress. Previously, she said, "Marriage equality, I believe we have to make it happen. The Government announced that they would drop their opposition to same-sex marriage. A formal agreement between the two parties and the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights was signed in April On 28 January , the National Congress approved a bill recognizing civil unions for same-sex and opposite-sex couples offering some of the rights of marriage.
Bachelet signed the bill on 14 April, and it came into effect on 22 October. In September , President Bachelet stated before a United Nations General Assembly panel that the Chilean Government would submit a same-sex marriage bill to Congress in the first half of The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling regarding the legalisation of same-sex marriage in countries that have ratified the American Convention on Human Rights applies to Chile.
The Marriage Law of the People's Republic of China explicitly defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman. No other form of civil union is recognized. The attitude of the Chinese Government towards homosexuality is believed to be "three nos": "No approval; no disapproval; no promotion. According to Chinese law, 35 delegates' signatures are needed to make an issue a bill to be discussed in the Congress.
Her efforts failed due to lack of support from the delegates. He argued that same-sex marriage was not recognized even in many Western countries, which are considered much more liberal in social issues than China. On 5 January , a court in Changsha , southern Hunan Province , agreed to hear the lawsuit of year-old Sun Wenlin filed in December against the Bureau of Civil Affairs of Furong District for its June refusal to let him marry his year-old male partner, Hu Mingliang.
On 13 April , with hundreds of same-sex marriage supporters outside, the Changsha court ruled against Sun, who vowed to appeal, citing the importance of his case for LGBT progress in China. Currently, Article 36 of the Constitution of Cuba defines marriage as "the voluntarily established union between a man and a woman".
Before the October election , LGBT activists started a public campaign with the aim of achieving same-sex marriage within the next four years. In August , a lawyer in El Salvador filed a lawsuit before the country's Supreme Court asking for the nullification of Article 11 of the Family Code, which defines marriage as a heterosexual union. Labeling the law as discriminatory and explaining the lack of gendered terms used in Article 34 of the Constitution 's summary of marriage, the lawsuit sought to allow same-sex couples the right to wed.
A second lawsuit against the same-sex marriage ban was filed on 11 November In October , the Estonian legislature, the Riigikogu , approved a civil union law open to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.
In December , the Tallinn Circuit Court ruled that same-sex marriages concluded in another country must be recorded in the civil registry. However, they do not count as marriages for the purpose of granting spousal residency rights. In , a man filed a challenge against Georgia's same-sex marriage ban, arguing that while the Civil Code of Georgia states that marriage is explicitly between a man and a woman; the Constitution does not reference gender in its section on marriage.
In September , the Georgian Parliament approved a constitutional amendment establishing marriage as "a union between a woman and a man for the purpose of creating a family". Parliament overrode his veto on 13 October. Same-sex marriage is not explicitly prohibited under Indian law and at least one couple has had their marriage recognised by the courts.
In April , Medha Patkar of the Aam Aadmi Party stated that her party supports the legalisation of same-sex marriage. As of , a draft of a Uniform Civil Code that would legalise same-sex marriage has been proposed. Although same-sex couples are not legally recognized currently by any form, performing a symbolic same-sex marriage is not prohibited under Indian law either.
In , Israel's High Court of Justice ruled to recognize foreign same-sex marriages for the limited purpose of registration with the Administration of Border Crossings, Population and Immigration; however, this is merely for statistical purposes and grants no state-level rights. Israel does not recognize civil marriages performed under its own jurisdiction. A bill was raised in the Knesset Israeli Parliament to rescind the High Court's ruling, but the Knesset did not advance the bill. A bill to legalize same-sex and interfaith civil marriages was defeated in the Knesset, 39—11, on 16 May In November , the National LGBT Taskforce of Israel petitioned the Supreme Court of Israel to allow same-sex marriage in the country, arguing that the refusal of the rabbinical court to recognise same-sex marriage should not prevent civil courts from performing same-sex marriages.
Opinion polls have shown that Israelis overwhelmingly support recognizing same-sex unions. The cities of Bologna , Naples and Fano began recognizing same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions in July ,   followed by Empoli , Pordenone , Udine and Trieste in September,    and Florence , Piombino , Milan and Rome in October,   and by Bagheria in November.
A January Datamonitor poll found that On 25 February , the Italian Senate passed a bill allowing civil unions with senators in favour and 73 against. That same bill was approved by the Chamber of Deputies on 11 May with deputies in favour and 51 against.
On 31 January , the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation ruled that same-sex marriages performed abroad can be fully recognized by court order, when at least one of the two spouses is a citizen of a European Union country where same-sex marriage is legal. Same-sex marriage is not legal in Japan. Article 24 of the Japanese Constitution states that "Marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes and it shall be maintained through mutual cooperation with the equal rights of husband and wife as a basis.
On 27 May , the Constitutional Court of Latvia overturned an administrative court decision that refused an application to register a same-sex marriage in the country. A Supreme Court press spokeswoman said that the court agrees with the administrative court that current regulations do not allow for same-sex marriages to be legally performed in Latvia. However, the matter should have been considered in a context not of marriage, but of registering familial partnership.
Furthermore, it would have been impossible to conclude whether the applicants' rights were violated or not unless their claim is accepted and reviewed in a proper manner. In November , the Supreme Court of Nepal issued final judgment on matters related to LGBT rights, which included permitting same-sex couples to marry. Same-sex marriage and protection for sexual minorities were to be included in the new Nepalese Constitution required to be completed by 31 May In October , the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare constituted a committee for the purpose of preparing a draft bill to legalize same-sex marriage.
On 17 October , a married same-sex couple filed an action of unconstitutionality seeking to recognise same-sex marriages performed abroad. As the Supreme Court was deliberating on the two cases, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled on 9 January that countries signatory to the American Convention on Human Rights must legalise same-sex marriage. On 16 January, the Panamanian Government welcomed the decision.
Vice President Isabel Saint Malo , speaking on behalf of the Government, announced that the country would fully abide by the ruling. Official notices, requiring compliance with the ruling, were sent out to various governmental departments that same day.
On 14 February , a bill legalizing same-sex marriage was introduced in the Peruvian Congress. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling regarding the legalisation of same-sex marriage in countries that have ratified the American Convention on Human Rights applies to Peru.
Same-sex marriages and civil unions are currently not recognized by the state, the illegal insurgent Communist Party of the Philippines performs same-sex marriages in territories under its control since President Rodrigo Duterte supports the legalization of same-sex marriage, but feels that such a law may not pass in Congress yet as many are still influenced heavily by colonial-era Christian ideals.
He also supports same-sex civil unions, which has a higher possibility for passage and is supported by the majority of congresspersons. On 19 June , the Supreme Court of the Philippines heard oral arguments in a case seeking to legalise same-sex marriage in the Philippines.
On 5 June , the European Court of Justice ECJ ruled, in a case originating from Romania, that same-sex couples have the same residency rights as different-sex couples, when a national of an EU country gets married while resident in an EU country where same-sex marriage is legal, and the spouse is from a non-EU country.
In December , the eco-socialist United Left party introduced a bill amending the definition of marriage in the Marriage and Family Relations Act to include same-sex couples. In January , the Government expressed no opposition to the bill.
In February , the bill was passed with 11 votes to 2. In March, the Assembly passed the final bill in a 51—28 vote. On 10 March , the National Council rejected a motion to require the Assembly to vote on the bill again, in a 14—23 vote. Opponents of the bill launched a petition for a referendum and managed to collect 40, signatures.
The Parliament then voted to block the referendum with a clarification that it would be against the Slovenian Constitution to vote on matters concerning human rights. Finally, the Constitutional Court ruled against the banning of the referendum 5—4 and the referendum was held on 20 December In the referendum, In July , Kim Jho Kwang-soo and his partner, Kim Seung-Hwan, filed a lawsuit seeking legal status for their marriage after their marriage registration form was rejected by the local authorities in Seoul.
On 25 May , a South Korean district court ruled against the couple and argued that without clear legislation a same-sex union can not be recognized as a marriage. Their lawyer, Ryu Min-Hee, announced that two more same-sex couples had filed separate lawsuits in order to be allowed to wed. In December , a South Korean appeals court upheld the district court ruling. The couple vowed to bring the case to the Supreme Court of South Korea.
A same-sex marriage bill is pending in Parliament after the Green Liberal Party of Switzerland ,  introduced a constitutional initiative to legalize same-sex marriage in December , in opposition to a Christian Democrat initiative banning same-sex marriage. In March , the Swiss Federal Council released a governmental report about marriage and new rights for families. It opens the possibility to introduce registered partnerships for different-sex couples as well as same-sex marriage for same-sex couples.
This initiative would change article 14 of the Swiss Federal Constitution and aimed to put equal fiscal rights and equal social security benefits between married couples and unmarried cohabiting couples. However, the text aimed to introduce as well in the Constitution for the first time ever the definition of marriage, which would be the sole "union between a man and a woman". In April , the Supreme Court announced it would hear a lawsuit that seeks to declare Article 44 of the Civil Code unconstitutional for outlawing same-sex marriage.
In Vietnam, currently only a marriage between a man and a woman is recognized. Vietnam's Ministry of Justice began seeking advice on legalizing same-sex marriage from other governmental and non-governmental organizations in April and May , and planned to further discuss the issue at the National Assembly in Spring The Vietnamese Government abolished an administrative fine imposed on same-sex weddings in Although same-sex marriages are not permitted in Vietnam, the policy will decriminalize the relationship, habitual privileges such as household registry, property, child raising, and co-habitual partnerships are recognized.
In June , the National Assembly began formal debate on a proposal to establish legal recognition for same-sex marriage.
The decree took effect on 11 November On 27 May , the National Assembly's Committee for Social Affairs removed the provision giving legal status and some rights to cohabiting same-sex couples from the Government's bill to amend the Law on Marriage and Family. On 1 January , the Law on Marriage and Family officially went into effect.
It states that while Vietnam allows same-sex weddings, it will not offer legal recognition or protection to unions between people of the same sex. The terms of employment of the staff of international organizations not commercial in most cases are not governed by the laws of the country where their offices are located. Agreements with the host country safeguard these organizations' impartiality. Despite their relative independence, few organizations recognize same-sex partnerships without condition.
The agencies of the United Nations recognize same-sex marriages if the country of citizenship of the employees in question recognizes the marriage. However, the World Bank does recognize domestic partners. Civil union, civil partnership , domestic partnership , registered partnership , unregistered partnership, and unregistered cohabitation statuses offer varying legal benefits of marriage. On a subnational level, the Mexican state of Tlaxcala , the Dutch constituent country of Aruba and Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom allow same-sex couples to access civil unions or partnerships, but restrict marriage to couples of the opposite sex.
Additionally, various cities and counties in Cambodia and Japan offer same-sex couples varying levels of benefits, which include hospital visitation rights and others. Additionally, sixteen countries that have legalized same-sex marriage still have an alternative form of legal recognition for same-sex couples, usually available to heterosexual couples as well: Argentina , Australia , Austria , Belgium , Brazil , Colombia , Ecuador , France , Luxembourg , Malta , the Netherlands , Portugal , South Africa , Spain , the United Kingdom and Uruguay.
Female same-sex marriage is practiced among the Gikuyu , Nandi , Kamba , Kipsigis , and to a lesser extent neighboring peoples. However, this is not seen as homosexual, but is instead a way for families without sons to keep their inheritance within the family. In Nigeria, homosexual activity between men, but not between women, is illegal. In , Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo introduced legislation that prohibits same-sex marriages and criminalizes anyone who "performs, witnesses, aids or abets" such ceremonies.
Same-sex marriage also known as gay marriage is the marriage of two people of the same sex or gender , entered into in a civil or religious ceremony. There are records of same-sex marriage dating back to the first century though there is no legal provision in Roman Law, and it was banned in the Roman Empire in the fourth. In the modern era, same-sex marriage started being legalized at the beginning of the 21st century.
Today, it is available in 28 countries. Same-sex marriage is also due to become legal in Costa Rica. A ministerial decision decreed that Armenia shall as well, though as of February there had been no actual cases.
Furthermore, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has issued a ruling that is expected to facilitate recognition in several countries in the Americas. The introduction of same-sex marriage also called marriage equality has varied by jurisdiction, and came about through legislative change to marriage law , court rulings based on constitutional guarantees of equality, recognition that it is allowed by existing marriage law,  or by direct popular vote via referendums and initiatives.
The recognition of same-sex marriage is considered to be a human right and a civil right as well as a political, social, and religious issue. Polls consistently show continually rising support for the recognition of same-sex marriage in all developed democracies and in some developing democracies. Scientific studies show that the financial, psychological, and physical well-being of gay people are enhanced by marriage, and that the children of same-sex parents benefit from being raised by married same-sex couples within a marital union that is recognized by law and supported by societal institutions.
Many studies have shown that children of same-sex couples fare just as well as the children of opposite-sex couples; some studies have shown benefits to being raised by same-sex couples.
A study of nationwide data from across the United States from January to December revealed that the establishment of same-sex marriage is associated with a significant reduction in the rate of attempted suicide among children, with the effect being concentrated among children of a minority sexual orientation, resulting in about , fewer children attempting suicide each year in the United States.
Some proponents of legal recognition of same-sex marriage, such as Freedom to Marry and Canadians for Equal Marriage , use the terms marriage equality and equal marriage to indicate that they seek the recognition of same-sex marriage on equal ground with opposite-sex marriage as opposed to special rights.
The AP Stylebook recommends the usage of the phrase marriage for gays and lesbians or the term gay marriage in space-limited headlines. The Associated Press warns that the construct gay marriage can imply that the marriages of same-sex couples are somehow different from the marriages of opposite-sex couples.
Anthropologists have struggled to determine a definition of marriage that absorbs commonalities of the social construct across cultures around the world. With several countries revising their marriage laws to recognize same-sex couples in the 21st century, all major English dictionaries have revised their definition of the word marriage to either drop gender specifications or supplement them with secondary definitions to include gender-neutral language or explicit recognition of same-sex unions.
Opponents of same-sex marriage who want marriage to be restricted to pairings of a man and a woman, such as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , the Catholic Church , and the Southern Baptist Convention , use the term traditional marriage to mean opposite-sex marriage.
The Australian Psychological Society supports same-sex marriage  and the British Psychological Society has acknowledged that there is no empirical basis for beliefs used to argue for the exclusion of same-sex attracted individuals from marriage. Prominent figures in the civil rights movement have expressed their support for same-sex marriage. Virginia in , in which the Supreme Court of the United States struck down all state bans on inter-racial marriage , issued a statement on the 40th anniversary of the ruling in which she expressed her support for same-sex marriage and described it as a civil right akin to inter-racial marriage, stating that "I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry".
Hodges in which the Supreme Court of the United States struck down all state bans on same-sex marriage, stating that "races don't fall in love, genders don't fall in love—people fall in love". The NAACP , the leading African-American civil rights organization, has pledged its support for gay rights and same-sex marriage, stating that they "support marriage equality consistent with equal protection under the law provided under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution", and has declared that same-sex marriage is a civil right.
The Human Rights Campaign , the largest LGBT rights organization in the United States, states that "many same-sex couples want the right to legally marry because they are in love—many, in fact, have spent the last 10, 20 or 50 years with that person—and they want to honor their relationship in the greatest way our society has to offer, by making a public commitment to stand together in good times and bad, through all the joys and challenges family life brings.
Journalist Gail Mathabane likens prohibitions on same-sex marriage to past prohibitions on interracial marriage in the United States.
Opposition to same-sex marriage is based on claims such as that homosexuality is unnatural and abnormal, that the recognition of same-sex unions will promote homosexuality in society, and that children are better off when raised by opposite-sex couples.
Some of the opponents of same-sex marriage are religious groups such as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , the Catholic Church , and the Southern Baptist Convention , all of which desire for marriage to remain restricted to opposite-sex couples. The American Anthropological Association stated on 26 February The results of more than a century of anthropological research on households, kinship relationships, and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution.
Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies. The establishment of same-sex marriage is associated with a significant reduction in the rate of attempted suicide among children, with the effect being concentrated among children of a minority sexual orientation. The researchers took advantage of the gradual manner in which same-sex marriage was established in the United States expanding from one state in to all fifty states in to compare the rate of attempted suicide among children in each state over the time period studied.
Once same-sex marriage was established in a particular state, the reduction in the rate of attempted suicide among children in that state became permanent. No reduction in the rate of attempted suicide among children occurred in a particular state until that state recognized same-sex marriage.
The lead researcher of the study observed that "laws that have the greatest impact on gay adults may make gay kids feel more hopeful for the future". Professional organizations of psychologists have concluded that children stand to benefit from the well-being that results when their parents' relationship is recognized and supported by society's institutions, e.
For example, the Canadian Psychological Association stated in that "parents' financial, psychological and physical well-being is enhanced by marriage and that children benefit from being raised by two parents within a legally-recognized union.
The American Academy of Pediatrics concluded in , in an analysis published in the journal Pediatrics :. There is ample evidence to show that children raised by same-gender parents fare as well as those raised by heterosexual parents. More than 25 years of research have documented that there is no relationship between parents' sexual orientation and any measure of a child's emotional, psychosocial, and behavioral adjustment.
Conscientious and nurturing adults, whether they are men or women, heterosexual or homosexual, can be excellent parents. The rights, benefits, and protections of civil marriage can further strengthen these families. In , a Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health study examining the effects of institutional discrimination on the psychiatric health of lesbian, gay and bisexual LGB individuals found an increase in psychiatric disorders, including a more than doubling of anxiety disorders , among the LGB population living in states that instituted bans on same-sex marriage.
According to the author, the study highlighted the importance of abolishing institutional forms of discrimination, including those leading to disparities in the mental health and well-being of LGB individuals.
Institutional discrimination is characterized by societal-level conditions that limit the opportunities and access to resources by socially disadvantaged groups. Author and journalist Jonathan Rauch has argued that marriage is good for all men, whether homosexual or heterosexual, because engaging in its social roles reduces men's aggression and promiscuity.
Same-sex parents and carers and their children are likely to benefit in numerous ways from legal recognition of their families, and providing such recognition through marriage will bestow greater benefit than civil unions or domestic partnerships. The American Psychological Association stated in "Denial of access to marriage to same-sex couples may especially harm people who also experience discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity, disability, gender and gender identity, religion, socioeconomic status and so on.
In , a pair of economists at Emory University tied the passage of state bans on same-sex marriage in the United States to an increase in the rates of HIV infection.
Numerous polls and studies on the issue have been conducted, including those that were completed throughout the first decade of the 21st century. A consistent trend of increasing support for same-sex marriage has been revealed across the world, often driven in large part by a significant generational gap in support.
Polling that was conducted in developed democracies in the first decade of the 21st century shows a majority of people in support of same-sex marriage. Support for legal same-sex marriage has increased across every age group, political ideology, religion, gender, race and region of various developed countries in the world.
In the United States , continual polling by Gallup over the course of more than two decades has shown that support for same-sex marriage has grown rapidly, while opposition has simultaneously collapsed. Various detailed polls and studies on same-sex marriage that were conducted in several countries show that support for same-sex marriage significantly increases with higher levels of education and is also significantly stronger among younger generations, with a clear trend of continually increasing support.
A reference to same-sex marriage appears in the Sifra , which was written in the 3rd century CE. The Book of Leviticus prohibited homosexual relations, and the Hebrews were warned not to "follow the acts of the land of Egypt or the acts of the land of Canaan" Lev. The Sifra clarifies what these ambiguous "acts" were, and that they included same-sex marriage: "A man would marry a man and a woman a woman, a man would marry a woman and her daughter, and a woman would be married to two men.
What is arguably the first historical mention of the performance of same-sex marriages occurred during the early Roman Empire according to controversial  historian John Boswell.
Child emperor Elagabalus referred to his chariot driver, a blond slave from Caria named Hierocles , as his husband. The first Roman emperor to have married a man was Nero , who is reported to have married two other males on different occasions.
The first was with one of Nero's own freedmen , Pythagoras , with whom Nero took the role of the bride. The marriage was celebrated in both Greece and Rome in extravagant public ceremonies.
It should be noted, however, that conubium existed only between a civis Romanus and a civis Romana that is, between a male Roman citizen and a female Roman citizen , so that a marriage between two Roman males or with a slave would have no legal standing in Roman law apart, presumably, from the arbitrary will of the emperor in the two aforementioned cases.
The idea implicit in the word is that a man took a woman in marriage, in matrimonium ducere , so that he might have children by her. Historians variously trace the beginning of the modern movement in support of same-sex marriage to anywhere from around the s to the s. In , Denmark became the first country to recognize a legal relationship for same-sex couples, establishing registered partnerships , which gave those in same-sex relationships "most rights of married heterosexuals, but not the right to adopt or obtain joint custody of a child".
In Mexico , same-sex marriage is performed in several states and recognized in all thirty-one states. In August , the Supreme Court of Justice of Costa Rica ruled that the right of same-sex couples to marry is guaranteed by the American Convention on Human Rights , in line with a January ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights , and that the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica has a grace period of eighteen months to amend the marriage law to align with the Convention after which same-sex marriage will automatically become established by law in Costa Rica.
Note: Countries and territories in which same-sex marriage laws have been repealed are not included on the table. British Judge Sir Nicolas Bratza , then head of the European Court of Human Rights, delivered a speech in that signaled the court was ready to declare same-sex marriage a "human right", as soon as enough countries fell into line.
Article 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights states that: "Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and to found a family, according to the national laws governing the exercise of this right",  not limiting marriage to those in a heterosexual relationship. However, the ECHR stated in Schalk and Kopf v Austria that this provision was intended to limit marriage to heterosexual relationships, as it used the term "men and women" instead of "everyone".
On 12 March , the European Parliament passed a non-binding resolution encouraging EU institutions and member states to "[reflect] on the recognition of same-sex marriage or same-sex civil union as a political, social and human and civil rights issue".
On 5 June , the European Court of Justice ruled, in a case from Romania , that, under the specific conditions of the couple in question, married same-sex couples have the same residency rights as other married couples in an EU country, even if that country does not permit or recognize same-sex marriage.
After a motion lodged by Costa Rica, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued a landmark advisory ruling in favour of same-sex marriage on 9 January , which is expected to facilitate legalisation in several countries in the Americas. The Court said that governments "must recognise and guarantee all the rights that are derived from a family bond between people of the same sex". They also said that it was inadmissible and discriminatory for a separate legal provision to be established such as civil unions instead of same-sex marriage.
The Court demanded that governments "guarantee access to all existing forms of domestic legal systems, including the right to marriage, in order to ensure the protection of all the rights of families formed by same-sex couples without discrimination".
Recognising the difficulty in passing such laws in countries where there is strong opposition to same-sex marriage, it recommended that governments pass temporary decrees until new legislation is brought in. The Court issued its ruling in response to a motion brought by Costa Rica in The Costa Rican Government asked the Court to give its opinion on whether it had an obligation to extend property rights to same-sex couples, and the Court ruled that it did.
The Costa Rican Government also wanted to know whether it should allow transgender people to change their name and gender on their identity documents. Again, the Court ruled that it must. On 29 June , two family judges in Cuenca, Ecuador ruled that the Civil Registry must issue same-sex marriage licenses on request, stating that the decision of the IACHR trumped the Ecuadorian Constitution 's definition of marriage.
The Registry appealed, but the Constitutional Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage on 12 June On 8 August , the Costa Rican Supreme Court declared Costa Rica's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, and gave the Legislative Assembly 18 months to reform the law accordingly, otherwise the ban would be abolished automatically.
Besides Ecuador and Costa Rica, lawsuits regarding same-sex marriage have been filed in Honduras,  Panama,  Paraguay to recognize marriages performed abroad ,  and Peru,  all of which are under the jurisdiction of the IACHR. Same-sex marriage is also due to become legally performed and recognized in Costa Rica [f].
Additionally, Armenia and Israel recognize the marriages of same-sex couples validly entered into in other countries, though as of early there is no record of anyone taking advantage of the ruling in Armenia.
Legal cases have been filed in a number of other countries. On 15 July , the Argentine Senate approved a bill extending marriage rights to same-sex couples. Australia became the second nation in Oceania to legalise same-sex marriage when the Australian Parliament passed a bill on 7 December Since 1 January , same-sex couples have been allowed to enter registered partnerships Eingetragene Partnerschaft. On 20 November , the Greens introduced a bill in the Austrian Parliament that would legalise same-sex marriage.
In December , the Vienna Administrative Court dismissed a case challenging the same-sex marriage ban. The plaintiffs appealed to the Constitutional Court.
Thus, same-sex couples have been allowed to marry since 1 January