Gay Marriage around the World




Date of Effective
Legalization
Country
Jan. 1, 2019 Austria
Nov. 23, 2018* Bermuda
Aug. 10, 2018 Costa Rica
Dec. 9, 2017 Australia
Oct. 1, 2017 Germany
July 12, 2017 Malta
Mar. 1, 2017 Finland
Feb. 24, 2017 Slovenia
Apr. 1, 2016 Greenland
June 26, 2015 United States
Apr. 28, 2015 Colombia
May 22, 2015 Ireland
Jan. 1, 2015 Luxembourg
July 17, 2013-
Dec. 16, 2014
United Kingdom (some jurisdictions):
Scotland on Dec. 16, 2014;
England & Wales on July 17, 2013.
Northern Ireland does not have legal gay marriage.
Aug.19, 2013 New Zealand
Aug. 5, 2013 Uruguay
May 18, 2013 France
May 14, 2013 Brazil
June 15, 2012 Denmark
July 21, 2010 Argentina
June 27, 2010 Iceland
June 5, 2010 Portugal
Dec. 2009 Mexico (some jurisdictions):
Mexico City in Dec. 2009
Quintana Roo in 2011
Coahuila in 2014
Chihuahua in 2015
May. 1, 2009 Sweden
Jan. 1, 2009 Norway
Nov. 30, 2006 South Africa
July 20, 2005 Canada
July 3, 2005 Spain
June 1, 2003 Belgium
Apr. 1, 2001 Netherlands



  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • In May 2017 Taiwans high court ruled that a gay marriage ban was unconstitutional and gave the Taiwanese government two years to legalize gay marriage. However, on Nov. 24, 2018, voters in Taiwan approved a measure that would continue the gay marriage ban and voted against the measure that would have legalized gay marriage. Whether the government is required to enact or enforce the gay marriage ban is unclear.

  • 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. Only Costa Rica has legalized gay marriage since the ruling as of Oct. 1, 2018.


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)

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

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

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