Rainbow Flag stock image

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to legalise same-sex marriage across all states last Friday brings us one step forward on achieving sexual equality globally. Let’s take a look at the other countries around the world that have legalised same-sex marriage.

How many countries have legalised same-sex marriage?

A total 19 countries (Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Denmark, Brazil, France, Uruguay, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Finland, and the United States) have fully legalized same-sex marriage.

Although Finland has voted to legalise same-sex marriage, this will only take legal effect in 2017.

Photo courtesy of BBC
Photo courtesy of BBC

Which was the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage?

On April 1st 2001, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, laying a path for other countries to follow in recognising the rights of same-sex couples.

Which countries allow same-sex civil partnerships but not marriage?

The list of countries that allow same-sex relationships but not marriage includes: Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Greenland, Mexico, Australia, Germany, Italy, Andorra, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Switzerland, Greece, Hungary, Austria, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Isle of Man, Jersey, Gibraltar, Malta, Croatia, and Estonia.

Do same-sex married couples always have the same rights as married hetereosexual couples?

Not always. For example, Portugal’s parliament voted against allowing gay couples to adopt children, even though same-sex marriage is legalized in the country.

Which regions in the world have not legalised same-sex marriage?

Asia and the Middle East are the only two regions in the world where not a single country have legalised same-sex marriage. Only one country in Africa – South Africa – has legalised it.

Tyler Lim