Dec. 15, 2017
In December, Australia became the 26th country to legalize same-sex marriage. Across the country, supporters of marriage equality cheered the victory.
Here are the other countries where marriage equality is the law of the land.
In 2000, the Netherlands became the first country to achieve marriage equality. Supporters were “jubilant,” Reuters reported.
Belgium legalized same-sex marriage in 2003. “Mentalities have changed,” then-Justice Minister Marc Verwilghen said, according to Agence France-Presse.
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Canada made it official in 2005. “A right is a right,” then-Prime Minister Paul Martin said, according to the Associated Press.
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Spain also legalized same-sex marriage in 2005, despite strong opposition from leaders in the Catholic Church, the New York Times reported then.
In 2006, South Africa became the first African country to legalize same-sex marriage.
Norway approved marriage equality in 2008. “We are so overjoyed,” advocate Jon Reidar Oeyan told the AP at the time.
In 2009, Sweden’s Parliament voted “overwhelmingly” in favor of same-sex marriage, according to the BBC. The law passed 226 to 22.
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Iceland, the first country to elect an out gay candidate head of state, voted unanimously to legalize same-sex marriage in 2010.
Also in 2010, Portugal, another predominantly Catholic nation, voted to allow same-sex marriage.
Argentina became the first country in Latin America with marriage equality when its Senate approved a law legalizing same-sex marriage in 2010.
In 2012, Denmark, which first recognized same-sex civil partnerships in 1989, voted in favor of same-sex marriage.
Uruguay became the second country in Latin America with marriage equality when its Congress voted to approve same-sex marriage in 2013.
New Zealand approved same-sex marriage in 2013, just about a week after Uruguay.
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Also in 2013, France became the ninth European country with marriage equality when then-President Francois Hollande signed a same-sex marriage bill into law.
Brazil effectively legalized marriage equality in 2013, when its National Council of Justice ruled that notaries couldn’t refuse to marry same-sex couples.
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Rounding out a major year for marriage equality, England and Wales also legalized same-sex marriage in 2013.
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In early 2014, Scotland voted 105 to 18 in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage.
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Luxembourg also legalized same-sex marriage in 2014. “All we have done is give equal rights to gay people,” one lawmaker said then, the Independent reported.
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In 2015, the Finnish president signed into law a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. However, the law didn’t officially take full effect until 2017.
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Ireland made history in 2015 when it became the first country to pass marriage equality through a popular vote. About 62% of the country voted yes.
Just days after Ireland’s popular vote, Greenland’s Parliament voted unanimously to approve same-sex marriage.
Also in 2015, marriage equality became the law of the land in the U.S. after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.
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Colombia legalized same-sex marriage in 2016, when the Constitutional Court rejected a petition against marriage equality.
Germany approved same-sex marriage in 2017, a long-awaited step that one advocate called a “historic milestone,” CNN reported then.
Also in 2017, Malta voted to legalize same-sex marriage.
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