Since the Netherlands became the first country to allow same-sex marriage 12 years ago, many countries have followed suit. France is the latest and supporters of gay marriage hope it will soon clear the final legal hurdles in Britain. But where in the world can same-sex couples already get married?
Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about. To date, only 29 out of the countries in the world have legalized same-sex marriage. A link has been sent to your friend's email address.
In a number of countries that have recently legalized same-sex marriage, the impetus for legal change came through the courts. In the United States, the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide in a ruling. Explore our fact sheet to learn more about same-sex laws around the world.
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People demonstrate for the legalisation of gay marriage and parenting on December 16, in Paris, France. People fighting for same-sex marriage rights around the world have seen global support increase in recent years. Australia, Malta, and Germany legalized same-sex marriage inand Taiwan made history last monthbecoming the first government in Asia to welcome legislation on marriage equality.
For many years, same-sex marriage has been a hot topic of endless debate. Supporters of same-sex marriage say that a relationship and subsequent marriage between two people of the same sex is natural and normal. These supporters believe that a person does not choose to be gay and is instead born this way.
But although same-sex marriage has advanced in countries and regions where acceptance of homosexuality is more widely accepted, countries which allow same-sex unions are still the minority. Two-thirds of countries that allow same sex marriage are in Western Europe, while most others are in North America. The map shows that several European countries still do not allow same-sex unions, including Italy and Switzerland.
Taiwan has become the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage following a landmark vote by lawmakers last Friday. However, the move has also paved the way for an ugly dispute between Taiwan and the People's Republic of China, which considers Taiwan part of its territory despite having no control over the island. Taiwan is one of 30 countries that have either legalised gay marriage or are planning to in the near future.