FACTBOX-Gay marriage rights around the world

Thursday, 22 June 2023 13:54 GMT

A gay rights activist kisses his husband as they walk on the street in Matanzas, Cuba, November 2, 2022. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

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As LGBTQ+ couples push India to legalise gay unions, here are the key facts on same-sex marriage worldwide

By Lucy Middleton

LONDON, June 22 (Openly) -

Estonia became the first post-Soviet nation and Baltic country to legalise same-sex marriage, following a parliamentary vote on June 20. 

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said on Twitter that she was "proud" of her country for "building a society where everyone's rights are respected and people can love freely".

The law will come into force on January 1, 2024.

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 34 U.N. member states: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay, and the United States.

* A total of 34 U.N. states have some other form of civil partnership for same-sex couples.

* In recent changes, Andorra legalised same-sex marriage in 2023, while Mexico, Cuba and Slovenia approved gay marriage last year.

* Taiwan became the first place in Asia where gay marriage is legal in 2019. If India's Supreme Court decides to legalise same-sex unions later this year, the world's largest country will become the second place in Asia to do so.

* In Africa, where having same-sex sexual relations is a crime in many countries and can lead to imprisonment or the death penalty, only South Africa allows same-sex marriage.

* Gay marriage is hotly contested by many religious groups. In 2022, conservatives in the United Methodist Church formed a breakaway over the issue. The Anglican Church in 2023 said it would uphold a bar on gay marriage but indicated it would not penalise churches that have ignored the ruling.

* A 2023 survey of 30 countries found that 56% of respondents supported the right of LGBTQ+ people to marry. The poll found a majority backed gay marriage in 21 countries, with Turkey being most against equal marriage rights.    

Sources: ILGA State-Sponsored Homophobia report, Pew Research Centre, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Reuters, Ipsos LGBT+ Pride 2023 Global Survey.

(Reporting by Lucy Middleton; editing by Sonia Elks. The Thomson Reuters Foundation is the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters. Visit https://www.context.news/)

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

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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