Last updated on: 11/1/2019 | Author: ProCon.org

Gay Marriage around the World

Date of Effective LegalizationCountry
Jan. 12, 2020Northern Ireland
May 26, 2020Costa Rica
June 13, 2019Ecuador
May 24, 2019Taiwan
Jan. 1, 2019Austria
Nov. 23, 2018Bermuda
Dec. 9, 2017Australia
Oct. 1, 2017Germany
July 12, 2017Malta
Mar. 1, 2017Finland
Feb. 24, 2017Slovenia
Apr. 1, 2016Greenland
June 26, 2015United States
Apr. 28, 2015Colombia
May 22, 2015Ireland
Jan. 1, 2015Luxembourg
Dec. 16, 2014Scotland
Aug. 19, 2013New Zealand
Aug. 5, 2013Uruguay
July 17, 2013England
July 17, 2013Wales
May 18, 2013France
May 14, 2013Brazil
June 15, 2012Denmark
July 21, 2010Argentina
June 27, 2010Iceland
June 5, 2010Portugal
Dec. 2009Mexico
(some jurisdictions; see note 2 below)
May 1, 2009Sweden
Jan. 1, 2009Norway
Nov. 30, 2006South Africa
July 20, 2005Canada
July 3, 2005Spain
June 1, 2003Belgium
Apr. 1, 2001Netherlands
  1. The dates above are the dates on which the gay marriage laws went into effect, meaning couples could legally marry within the country, rather than the dates the laws were passed.
  2. Mexico City, Mexico legalized gay marriage in Dec. 2009, and that legalization led to a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that same-sex marriages performed in Mexico City must be recognized throughout the country. Since then, three more jurisdictions have legalized gay marriage: Quintana Roo (2011), Coahuila (2014), and Chihuahua (2015). Gay marriage is not technically legal throughout the country though the Supreme Court issued a ruling in 2015 making same-sex marriage easier and gave couples the right to ask for court injunctions against state gay marriage bans.
  3. England and Wales legalized gay marriage in July 2013, and Scotland followed in Feb. 2014. However, Northern Ireland does not have legal gay marriage, so the map above shows the United Kingdom as having legal gay marriage in only some jurisdictions.
  4. On May 5, 2017 Bermuda legalized gay marriage. On Dec. 10, 2017, Bermuda became the first country to abolish gay marriage. That law was overturned by the Supreme Court on June 6, 2018. The Bermuda government appealed the decision, but the Supreme Court ruled that the ban was unconstitutional on Nov. 23, 2018, legalizing gay marriage immediately. The government has 21 days to appeal and the ruling can be brought before the Privy Council in London, the final court of appeals for British overseas territories.
  5. On Jan. 10, 2018, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that gay marriages should be recognized. The ruling applies to the 23 Latin American countries that are signatories of the American Convention of Human Rights. Of the signatory countries, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Uruguay had legal gay marriage before the ruling; the other countries, such as Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, and Peru, are expected by the Court to change their laws. The Supreme Court of Costa Rica declared a gay marriage ban unconstitutional on Oct. 1, 2018 and required that gay marriage be made legal by May 26, 2020.

Sources:   

3News Online Staff, “August 19 Wedding Date for Same-Sex Couples,” newshub.co.nz, Apr. 22, 2013

AP, “Britain Legalizes Gay Marriage as Queen Elizabeth II Gives Royal Approval,” ap.org, July 17, 2013

AP, “German President Signs Bill Legalizing Gay Marriage,” bloomberg.com, July 21, 2017

BBC, “Colombia Legalises Gay Marriage,” bbc.com, Apr. 29, 2016

BBC, “Costa Rica Supreme Court Rules against Same-Sex Marriage Ban,” bbc.com, Aug. 10, 2018

BBC, “Denmark Approves Same-Sex Marriage and Church Weddings,” bbc.com, June 7, 2012

BBC, “France Gay Marriage: Hollande Signs Bill into Law,” bbc.com, May 18, 2013

BBC, “Inter-American Human Rights Court Backs Same-Sex Marriage,” bbc.com, Jan. 10, 2018

BBC, “Jersey to Introduce Same-Sex Marriage from 1 July,” bbc.com, June 27, 2018

BBC, “Same-Sex Marriage Bill Comes into Force in Uruguay,” bbc.com, Aug. 5, 2013

Stephen Calleja, “Malta OKs Same-Sex Marriages over Catholic Church Protest,” washingtonpost.com, July 12, 2017

Damien Cave and Jacqueline Williams, “Australia Makes Same-Sex Marriage Legal,” nytimes.com, Dec. 7, 2017

CNN, “Same-Sex Marriage Legalized in Amsterdam,” cnn.com, Apr. 1, 2001

Sarah Cox, “Foreign Laws Regarding Same Sex Marriage and Civil Unions,” uconn.edu, Aug. 13, 2015

Nick Duffy, “Bermuda Court to Hear Government Appeal against Equal Marriage,” pinknews.co.uk, Aug. 27, 2018

Equality and Human Rights Commission, “The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013: The Equality and Human Rights Implications for Marriage and the Law in England and Wales,” equalityhumanrights.com, Mar. 24, 2014

Emma Farge, “Bermuda’s Top Court Deems Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional,” huffingtonpost.com, Nov. 24, 2018

Aris Folley, “Bermuda Supreme Court Overturns Ban on Gay Marriage,” thehill.com, June 6, 2018

Freedom to Marry, “International Progress Toward the Freedom to Marry,” freedomtomarry.org (accessed Sep. 16, 2013)

Julia Hollingsworth, “Taiwan Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage in Historic First for Asia,” cnn.com, May 17, 2019

Hira Humayun and Sarah Cullinane, “Taiwan Voters Reject Same-Sex Marriage,” cnn.com, Nov. 25, 2018

Oscar Lopez, “Ecuador Approves Same-Sex Marriage as LGBT+ Groups Hail Landmark Week,” reuters.com, June 13, 2019

Luxembourg Times, “Same-Sex Marriages from January 1,” luxtimes.lu, July 7, 2017

Joseph Patrick McCormick, “Parliament in Greenland Unanimously Approves Same-Sex Marriage,” pinknews.co.uk, May 27, 2015

Renwick McLean, “Spain Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage,” nytimes.com, June 30, 2005

Marja Novak, “Slovenia Allows Same-Sex Marriage, but Not Adoption,” reuters.com, Feb. 24, 2017

Chris Page, “Northern Ireland Abortion and Same-Sex Marriage Laws Change,” bbc.com, Oct. 22, 2019

Shawn Pogatchnik, “‘Bold’ Ireland Votes to Legalize Gay Marriage in a Landslide,” washingtonpost.com, May 23, 2015

Pew Research Center, “Gay Marriage around the World,” pewforum.org, Aug. 8, 2017

Radio New Zealand, “Marriage Legislation Becomes Law,” radionz.co.nz, Apr. 21, 2013

Julien Sauvalle, “Same-Sex Marriages Begin in Greenland,” out.com, Apr. 1, 2016

Simon Romero, “Brazilian Court Council Removes a Barrier to Same-Sex Marriage,” nytimes.com, May 14, 2013

San Francisco Chronicle, “Canada OKs Gay Marriage,” sfgate.com, July 25, 2005

Nadine Schmidt and Hilary Clarke, “Austrian Court Rules Same-Sex Couples Can Marry from 2019,” cnn.com, Dec. 5, 2017

Washington Blade, “Uruguayan President Signs Marriage Bill into Law,” washingtonblade.com, May 7, 2013