In Which Countries is Gay Marriage Legal?

In 2001, The Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage. Since then many others have followed suit bringing the current total (in April 2019) to 28. 

In Which Countries is Gay Marriage Legal? 

  • Argentina (2010)
  • Australia (2017)
  • Austria
  • Belgium (2003)
  • Brazil (2013)
  • Canada (2005)
  • Columbia (2011)
  • Denmark (2012)
  • England (2014)
  • Finland (2017)
  • France (2013)
  • Germany (2017)
  • Iceland (2010)
  • Ireland (2015)
  • Luxembourg (2014)
  • Malta (2017)
  • Mexico (2009)
  • Netherlands (2001)
  • New Zealand (2013)
  • Norway (2009)
  • Portugal (2010)
  • Scotland (2014)
  • South Africa (2006)
  • Spain (2005)
  • Sweden (2009)
  • United States (2015)
  • Uruguay (2012)
  • Wales (2014)

We’re hopeful that 2019, 2020 and beyond will see more countries legalising gay marriage and allowing gay couples the same relationship rights as heterosexuals. 

Where Might Gay Marriage become Legal in 2019?

Japanese LGBTQ campaigners have taken their case to a hearing, but it’s likely that Taiwan will be the first Asian country to allow same-sex marriage after its high court declared a ban ‘unconstitutional’.  In 2017, Taiwan’s Government was given two years to finalise and introduce a new marriage law.  In the Czech Republic draft legislation for a same-sex marriage bill recently went through its first reading. The Philippines could be on course to legalise same-sex marriage should the Supreme Court rule in favour.  Costa Rica looks set to lift its ban in the next eighteen months or so, too, following a Supreme Court decision.

When asking the question: in which countries is gay marriage legal?  We’re looking for the good news.  We’re reading about the LGBTQ success stories – the examples of how campaigners have pushed real and tangible changes through a country’s political and law-making systems. We read about Ireland’s gay marriage referendum, Australia’s plebiscite and subsequent law change, Pitcairn – the small island in the Pacific Ocean, The US Supreme Court’s decision to overtime the country’s ban.  We think about the Netherlands leading the way and Malta’s sudden emergence as the foremost leader in LGBTQ rights. There have been some tremendous strides forward in gay rights, but there are still countries where homosexuality is illegal. There are countries where it is punishable by death. There are countries in the world who don’t have a provision for civil partnerships. 

There’s still a lot to be done.

Homosexuality is currently illegal in 73 countries.  According to the World Economic Forum, these are mostly in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. It goes on to list the eight places where homosexuality is punishable by death – Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen and also parts of Nigeria and Somalia.  This is also true of ISIS-held areas in Iraq and Syria, too. 

2019 started off on the right foot with Austria legalising gay marriage and India repealing its colonial-era anti-homosexuality laws.

Here’s hoping that the 2020 list will include a greater spread of LGBTQ rights throughout the world and that lots more same-sex couples are able to have the weddings they’ve always wanted. 

Looking to plan your same-sex wedding? Pink Wedding Days lists LGBTQ-friendly wedding venues and services providers across the UK. 

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