Although France and Colombia had different outcomes regarding their recent decisions on gay marriage, their cases are prime examples how marriage equality has quickly become a global concern.
After months of cutting debate and throngs of protests the French Parliament gave final approval to same-sex marriage on Tuesday, making France the 14th country in the world to have equal marriage rights nationwide. The bill passed with a large majority despite “fierce opposition” organized by conservatives and Catholic groups.
On Wednesday, Colombia was expected to take a similar step and become the 15th country in the world in this global movement. After postponing the vote following an impassioned all night debate, it was finally rejected by a 51 versus 17 vote.
Meanwhile in the rest of Latin America, Argentina, Mexico City and 10 Brazilian states that include São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are among jurisdictions in which same-sex couples can legally marry. Uruguay has also recently passed same-sex marriage bill which is awaiting the signature of the president.
Another country to recently hop on the marriage-equality boat is New Zealand, which on April 17 became the 12th country to legalize gay marriage.
According to the Economist, opinion polls Wworldwide — particularly in the West — show an increased trend in support for gay marriage.
Interestingly, the United States remains to be one of the few Western countries that still prohibits gay marriage, with only nine states legally recognizing same-sex unions. But the U.S seems to following the world trend with wheels-in-motion attempting to encourage marriage equality. Late March the American Supreme Court began debating the DOMA Act, which restricts marriage to a man and a woman. Similarly, it looks like Rhode Island will become the 10th state to to allow same-sex couples to marry following a narrow vote in the state’s Senate.
Here is the list of countries which have legalized gay marriage:
Netherlands – On 1 April, 2001, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage including the right to adopt.
Spain - In 2005 Spain became the third country of the EU to pass the law. Gay couples can adopt children, even if they are not married.
Belgium – Same-sex marriage was legalized in 2003 and in 2006 parliament voted into law a bill allowing homosexual couples to adopt children.
Canada – In 2005 Canada adopted a national law allowing gays to marry.
South Africa – South African became the first African nation to legalize same-sex unions in 2006.
Norway – Although civil partnership had existed for 20 years, homosexual right to marry and adopt was passed in 2009.
Sweden - Gay marriage has been allowed since 2009.
Portugal – In 2010 Portugal Legalized marriage although excluded right to adopt.
Iceland – Gay marriage became legal in 2010 and its then Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir married her long-time partner. Same-sex couples who have lived together for at least five years have had the right to adopt children.
Argentina – Argentina became the first Latin American country to allow homosexuals to wed in 2010.
Denmark – Denmark was the first country in the world to allow gay civil unions in 1989. In 2012 religious marriage was also adopted.
Uruguay - Uruguay’s recent vote has made it the second country in Latin America to allow same sex marriage.
New Zealand – New Zealand passed its passed bill this year and became the words 12th country to legalize gay marriage.