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In April 2015, the US territory of Guam lifted their ban on same-sex marriage.
This puts them ahead of at least 13 US states which still have laws on the books preventing equal
marriage for all. In fact, the issues of gay rights, including marriage, have become increasingly
relevant in just the past few years, with multiple countries stepping up to legalize
same-sex marriage. So where is same-sex marriage legal?
Well, currently, marriage between two people of the same sex is officially legal in 18
countries, with legislation enacted in Slovenia, and partial legality in the US and Mexico.
In the US, it is recognized on a federal level, with thirty-six states, plus Washington DC
and Guam allowing legalized gay marriage.
The first country to end marriage discrimination was the Netherlands. It may seem surprising
today, but that legislation wasn’t passed until as recently as the year 2000. In 2003,
Belgium also legalized the practice, but prevented same-sex couples from adopting children until
2006. In 2005, both Spain and Canada followed suit. Spain legalized because of the election
of a progressive, socialist government, that campaigned for the issue. Canada then did
so because more than three quarters of their territories and provinces had already established
marriage as a gender-neutral issue.
In 2006, South Africa’s Constitutional Court ruled that banning same-sex marriage was inherently
unconstitutional, making it the first African country to change their views. In 2009, both
Sweden and Norway, allowed current and future civil unions to be considered “legal marriages”.
In 2010, Portugal, Iceland, and Argentina also made the shift. Most significantly, Iceland
elected an openly gay Prime Minister in 2009.
Since 2013, Brazil, France, Uruguay, New Zealand, the UK, Luxembourg, and Finland have all
passed bills giving same-sex couples the right to marry. With so many countries enacting
equality legislation, the US is definitely falling behind. Despite the overturning of
the controversial “Defense of Marriage Act”, which led to the federal recognition of same-sex
marriage, gay marriage is still not legal in 13 states. It seems as though it is only
a matter of time until advocacy groups get what they've been looking for, gay marriage as a universal human right.
America's pretty divided on the issue of same-sex marriage, but the problems run even deeper.
While other minorities are protected by law from discrimination, the lgbt community is
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Which Countries Allow Same-Sex Marriage?

10851 Folder Collection
Sh, Gang (Aaron) published on July 28, 2016    Sh, Gang (Aaron) translated    Angel Cheng reviewed
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