Legalising gay marriage across the globe

2013-04-23 16:04

Paris - After months of acrimonious debate and hundreds of protests, which have occasionally spilled over into violence, France's National Assembly was due on Tuesday to approve a bill making the country the 14th to legalise same-sex marriage.

Here is a breakdown of nations with similar laws on the books:

Netherlands - On 1 April 2001 the Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage, with the same rights as heterosexuals. Includes the right to adopt.

Belgium - Homosexual couples in Belgium have almost the same rights as heterosexuals. They won the right to marry in 2003 and in 2006 parliament voted into law a bill allowing homosexual couples to adopt children.

Spain - In 2005 Spain became the third member of the EU to pass a law allowing same-sex marriages. Gay couples can adopt children, whether they are married or not.

Canada - Canada adopted a national law allowing gays to marry and adopt in July 2005, though most provinces had already allowed same-sex unions before that date.

South Africa - The country legalised same-sex unions and adoptions by gay couples in November 2006, becoming the first African nation to do so.

Norway - A 2009 law allowed homosexuals to marry and adopt children. Civil partnerships have existed in the country for 20 years.

Sweden - Sweden's homosexuals have been allowed to wed in religious or civil ceremonies since May 2009.

Portugal - Under a 2010 law Portugal legalised gay marriage, while excluding the right to adoption.

Iceland - Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir married her long-time partner in June 2010 as a new law legalising homosexual marriages came into force. Same-sex couples who have lived together for at least five years have had the right to adopt children since 2006.

Argentina - Gays in Argentina became the first on the South American continent to be able to wed and adopt, after legislation passed on 14 July 2010.

Denmark - Denmark, the first country in the world to allow gay couples to enter into civil unions in 1989, voted overwhelmingly in favour of allowing homosexuals to marry in the state Evangelical Lutheran Church in June 2012.

Uruguay - Uruguay voted this month to allow same-sex marriages nationwide, making it only the second Latin American country to do so.

New Zealand - New Zealand on 17 April became the first Asia-Pacific country to legalise same-sex marriage, after a decades-long campaign.

Partial rules

Gay couples can marry in nine US states, as well as in the capital Washington, while parts of Mexico and Brazil also allow same-sex marriage.

Expected soon

Britain - British lawmakers voted in February in favour of controversial legislation allowing gay marriage despite fierce opposition from members of Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative party.

The bill must next be scrutinised by a committee of lawmakers and then go before the upper chamber the House of Lords before becoming law.

Civil unions

A number of other countries have adopted laws that recognise civil partnerships and give couples more or less the same rights as heterosexuals.

Countries to have recognised civil unions without yet accepting gay marriage include Germany (2001), Finland (2002), the Czech Republic (2006), Switzerland (2007) and Colombia and Ireland (both 2011).

  • Lynn Hattingh - 2013-04-23 16:39

    These people are no different to you, all that differs is their sexual orientation. They are no threat to anyone. Leave them be!

      Mark Greyvenstein - 2013-04-23 17:34

      @Lynn Hattingh I totally agree with you, yet It still sounds a bit judgmental and condescending to me. ALL people are no different from each other in many ways, I am sure also even more different in very many other ways. Saying 'these people' sounds like a lot of differentiating to me, almost like saying 'those people from the east' or 'the ones from Sandton' mean no harm to you. Harm is very individually driven and not these, they , those or them.

      Lynn Hattingh - 2013-04-23 18:21

      I agree Mark a bad choice of words.

      Ian Harrison - 2013-05-28 08:03

      That is not the point. Why bastardise " traditional marriage" what is wrong with civil contracts, as long as they give the same rights?

  • Widzo Mateere Moyo - 2013-04-23 16:45

    Then male donkeys,bulls and cocks will start mating and probably reproduce.How natural????.

      Hengu Willemse - 2013-04-23 17:15 go and educate yourself, you may learn something that surprises you.

      SarcasticHeathen - 2013-04-23 20:19

      Then lions will start cooking their own food.How natural???? Moron.

  • Lukombo Cliff - 2013-04-23 16:50

    I just find it difficult to understand to married men adopting and raising a baby(boy or worse girl) because this law legalises marriage and in the same time gives as well right for adoption.

      Nurse Helenk - 2013-04-23 17:08

      The beauty about the law is that people like you don't need to understand the big picture. The wise people of the world make the big decisions, not the uneducated, misinformed bigots.

      Sean Rossouw - 2013-04-23 18:51

      Whats better, parents, or no parents?

      SarcasticHeathen - 2013-04-23 20:20

      Lukombo, how many orphans do you know?

      SarcasticHeathen - 2013-04-24 09:59

      "How the hell do the authorities come to a conclusion that two men are fit to raise a kid." Because the orphanages are not fit to raise a kid correctly.

  • Lukombo Cliff - 2013-04-23 16:52

    I meant two married men.

  • Prada Ledger - 2013-04-23 17:05

    gayatheist you have a problem i bet you fear the fork, sinful sinful little creature

  • johann.rossouw.92 - 2013-04-23 17:06

    Maybe gay couples can adopt because: 1. We can give the kids the stable homes they need. 2. We dont breed when we cant rake care of them. 3. Most gay people, men and women alike, are the most loving and kindest people there are. 4. Statistically, homosexuals are financially more stable and cademically more qualified. 5. A homosexual couple WILL be better parents than 95% of the teenagers falling pregnant and people having unwanted pregnancies. JUST SAYING. Now that all your racist, biased and stereotypical crap and shove it where the sun will never shine.

      Prada Ledger - 2013-04-23 17:12

      so laughable this comment, jsut cant deal lol

      QuestioningFaith - 2013-04-23 18:53

      "so" -> "So", "jsut" -> "just", "cant" -> "can't"; [end of sentence] -> "." Total lack of compassion and humanity -> nothing much can be done about that, years of religion-instilled blindness usually can't be cured.

  • johann.rossouw.92 - 2013-04-23 17:07

    Academically, touch screen typo

  • Kyle Smith - 2013-04-23 17:07

    I really don't see the issue here. Marriage should be allowed between any two people who love each other end of story. Black, white, coloured, male or female if you love each other you should have the right to declare it and make it solid by means of marriage. Allowing same sex couples to marry won't do anything to you, your life or your family. The sun will still rise, the petrol price will fluctuate and you will still encounter pot holes on your way to Durban. What is it with people and this whole saga? Live and let live! There have been many instances of same sex couples adopting and raising kids and they turned out just fine. They didn't become gay because of their parents influence just like gay kids didn't become straight because of their straight parents influence. People are born gay and they will be around forever so get used to it!

      Prada Ledger - 2013-04-23 17:10

      cant believe you wrote the whole bible, sumtin is not right

      SarcasticHeathen - 2013-04-23 20:23

      What does the bible have to do with that? If it were up to the bible, we would still have slavery in this country.

  • johann.rossouw.92 - 2013-04-23 17:42

    Well maybe, just maybe you should stop reading Harry Potter and more intellectual stimulating material.

  • Sally Matusik - 2013-05-28 07:44

    It is with great sadness that I read the supportive comments with regarding Same Sex Marriage's. The naive notion that these people and their acts do not affect anyone, is the number one reason that sin prevails today! Of course it affects us!! Yes, we are all the same, sinful humans, but that does not justify sin. We should strive to abolish sin, repent of it, and walk as close as we can to righteousness! We need to institute law, and a just law for that matter, God's law, one of liberty and freedom, and assist those who are stuck in sin. Surely we cannot abolish laws against theft, murder, rape or assault? I am sure we can justify all these acts, if we look at them from "No Different Peoples" point of view. It is time for people to stop looking at themselves, and being selfish, and looking to implement justice, not selfishness. Yes, we are all the same, no different, and so we should all live under the same just law!

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