FACTBOX-Gay marriage rights around the world

by Sonia Elks
Wednesday, 27 May 2020 11:00 GMT

ARCHIVE PHOTO: People march for marriage equality of same-sex couples in Sydney, Australia, September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Steven Saphore

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As Daritza Araya and Alexandra Quiros make history as the first same-sex couple to marry in Costa Rica, here are key facts about gay marriage around the world

By Sonia Elks and Rachel Savage

LONDON, May 27 (Openly) - Same-sex marriage became legal in Costa Rica on May 26, with lesbian couple Daritza Araya and Alexandra Quiros the first couple to marry under the new law at eight minutes after midnight, watched by nearly 20,000 people on Facebook.

The nation's constitutional court had ruled in August 2018 that a ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

As the Central American country makes history, here are the key facts about same-sex marriage around the world:

* The first country to legalise same-sex marriage was the Netherlands in 2001.

* Same-sex marriage is legal in 28 United Nations member states: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay, and the United States.

* A total of 31 U.N. states recognise some form of civil partnership for same-sex couples.

* Northern Ireland became the last part of the United Kingdom to introduce equal marriage rights in February 2020.

* Ecuador, Taiwan and Austria all legalised gay marriage in 2019.

* Taiwan was the first place in Asia where gay marriages were allowed. Drives for that right to be granted in China and Japan have faced stiff opposition.

* In Africa, where homosexuality is a crime in many countries and can lead to imprisonment or the death penalty, South Africa alone allows for same-sex marriage.

* Gay marriage is hotly contested among many religious groups. Leaders of the United Methodist Church announced proposals to split the church into two amid deep disputes over the issue.

* Almost one in three adults globally believe people of the same sex should be allowed to marry, a survey of almost 100,000 people in 65 countries showed in 2016.

Sources: ILGA State-Sponsored Homophobia report, Pew Research Centre, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Reuters

(Reporting by Sonia Elks @soniaelks and Rachel Savage @rachelmsavage; Editing by Katy Migiro and Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)

Openly is an initiative of the Thomson Reuters Foundation dedicated to impartial coverage of LGBT+ issues from around the world.

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