France On May 18, French President Francois Hollande signed into law a measure legalizing same-sex marriage, making France the 14th country to grant gays and lesbians the right to wed. In , lawmakers defeated an effort by the ruling Conservative Party of Canada to reconsider the issue, leaving the law unchanged. But same-sex weddings will not happen in Australia until January because couples will still need to lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage, which must be completed a month before the wedding. Canada The nation's traditional definition of civil marriage was changed to include the union between same-sex couples. GMA Pride Story map Below is a timeline for the 27 countries where same-sex marriage is officially legal.
In most cases, marriage equality has been legislated by parliaments, but in several cases, constitutional courts have forced the government's hand. Jersey continues to ban same-sex weddings. Thousands of same-sex couples living in Australia who were married overseas instantly had their unions recognised under the law. Northern Ireland has not passed same-sex marriage legislation. In spite of vigorous opposition from the Catholic Church and evangelical Protestant churches, the measure passed both houses of the Argentine legislature and was signed into law by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Denmark Prior to legalizing same-sex marriage, Denmark was the first country to recognize same-sex couples as domestic partners. Falkland Islands April 12, Belgium Beginning in , the Belgian parliament offered limited rights to same-sex couples through registered partnerships. About 58 percent of Uruguayans are Christian; in the Latin America-Caribbean region as a whole, 90 percent of the population is Christian. The country of just 49, inhabitants is seen as a kingdom of Denmark — which legalised same-sex marriage back in , including religious ceremonies. New Zealand On April 17, the New Zealand Parliament 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 legislation officially came into effect in The Church of England remains opposed to same-sex marriage, despite ongoing internal debate over the issue. The law took effect and same-sex couples began marrying in Scotland in December The Netherlands The country became the first in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. It remains the only country in Africa where same-sex marriage is lawful. Conscientious and nurturing adults, whether they are men or women, heterosexual or homosexual, can be excellent parents. 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. Greenland The country's legislators passed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage on the world's biggest island. While recent polls show that a majority of French adults support the law, opposition to the change has been intense. The legislation came into effect for 56, Greenlanders in Five years later, in January , the Belgian parliament legalized same-sex marriage, giving gay and lesbian couples the same tax and inheritance rights as heterosexual couples. The legislation passed with overwhelming support. Ireland Ireland was the first country to legalize same-sex marriage through a popular vote. Parliament was split over the issue. In the Scottish parliament passed a similar bill.
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