Where is same-sex marriage legal? | Being.LGBT Where is same-sex marriage legal? - Being.LGBT
Where is same-sex marriage legal?

It’s one of the most defining revolutions for Queer people in modern times: marriage equality. Where is it legal?

Added to FAQ, Features, on 15 November, 2017

Where is same-sex marriage legal?

1. Netherlands (2001)

The Netherlands legalised same-sex marriage on the 1st April, 2001, becoming the first country in the world to do so.

The first real indication of legalising same-sex marriage came in 1995, when the Parliament created a special commission to investigate the possibility. In 1997, it concluded that there should be an extension to same-sex couples for civil marriage. The Government promised to tackle the issue after the 1998 elections, and the final draft of legislation was submitted to the Dutch parliament in September of 2000. It passed on the 12th September, 2000, 109 votes to 33. The vote in the Senate, on the 19th December, 2000, approved the bill 49 to 26 votes.

However, the legislation did not – and still does not – apply to all Dutch overseas territories.

A 2016 ILGA poll showed 64% of respondents approve of same-sex marriage.

2. Belgium (2003)

The Belgians were the second country worldwide to legalise same-sex marriage on the 1st June, 2003. Previously, there had been no specific requirement that marriage was between a man and a woman, although various attempts by far-right politicians in the 1990s to explicitly state this never materialised.

Belgium’s 1999 elections, which saw a left-leaning coalition form to topple the recently-disgraced Christian People’s Party paved the way for same-sex marriage legislation: however, it took many years and a series of political conflicts for same-sex marriage to eventually be voted on in the country’s senate on the 28th November, 2002 with 46 votes for and 15 against. On the 30th January, 2003, it was passed in the Chamber of Representatives by 91 votes to 22.

The bill was signed by King Albert II on the 13th February, 2003, become legal on the first day of June that year. The first female couple married on June 6th, and the first male couple married on June 13th.

A 2015 poll conducted by Eurobarometer found 77% of respondents approved of same-sex marriage.

3. Canada (2003-2005)

Same-sex marriage was legalised nationwide in Canada on July 20th, 2005, although same-sex marriage had been legalised in several provinces via court decisions beforehand, starting firstly in Ontario on the 10th June, 2003, making it the third country in the world to have same-sex marriages, and the fourth to have it nationwide.

The bill was introduced by the Liberal Party of Canada by leader Paul Martin, who were at the time in minority government. It was passed by Canada’s House of Commons on the 28th June, 2005. An attempt to reopen the matter by 2006’s new Conservative minority government failed, with 175 votes supporting the existing same-sex marriage legislation to 123.

A Forum Research poll in 2015 found that 70% of respondents approved of same-sex marriage.

4. United States of America (2004 – 2015)

Massachusetts was the first state of the USA to legalise same-sex marriage, after a Court ruled it unconstitutional to discriminate, with its decision coming into effect on the 17th May, 2004. On the 26th June, 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled (5-4) in Obergefell v. Hodges that state bans on same-sex marriages were unconstitutional.

The United States has had a complicated history with same-sex marriages, as marriage is devolved to state legislation. Various legislation banning same-sex marriage had been enacted throughout the decades to specifically ban same-sex marriage. Legislation had been passed to legalise it in some states. Some courts had upheld bans, or ruled them unconstitutional. Various counties within states had, at some point, refused or allowed same-sex marriages that were then ruled illegal.

A 2017 Gallop poll saw respondents approving of same-sex marriage at 60%.

5. Spain (2005)

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Spain since the 3rd July, 20o5.

The newly elected Socialist Party government began its campaigning for same-sex marriage in 2004. The bill was announced on the 30th June, 2004, but the General Council of the Judiciary expressed reservations about extending marriage to same-sex couples. The Government presented the bill to congress on the 1st October, 2004, and Congress approved the bill, 183-136 on the 21st April, 2005. It was approved again, 187-147 on the 30th June.

King Juan Carlos signed the bill on the 1st July, 2005. The bill wasn’t without controversy, however, as the Catholic Church had made much public condemnation of the bill; including Pope John Paul II. Several city councils and autonomous communities had previously enacted symbolic civil unions throughout the 1990s and 2000s.

A 2016 ILGA poll showed 63% of respondents approved of same-sex marriage.

6. South Africa (2006)

Same-sex marriage has been legal since 30th November, 2006.

The legalisation was the result of a Constitutional Court decision in which it ruled on December 1st, 2005, that the constitution guarantees equal status to all, regardless of sexual orientation, and gave the Parliament a year to rectify the legislation.

It followed an appeal by a lesbian couple to have their union recognised as a valid marriage (‘Minister of Home Affairs v Fourie’).

A poll conducted by Ipsos in 2015 saw 45% of respondents approving of same-sex marriage, with 40% opposed.

7. Norway (2009)

Norway legalised same-sex marriage on the 1st January, 2009, following a vote in the Norwegian parliament on the 11th June, 2008.

The idea of gender-neutral marriage was first proposed on 18th November, 2004, by two Socialist Left Party MPs, although the Government of the time considered looking into the issue, they didn’t. The Stoltenberg Second Cabinet opened a public hearing on the 16th May, 2007. The opposition parties eventually came out in favour of the bill.

The parliament voted 84-41 in favour, and the bill passed the Upper House 23-17 on the 17th June. King Harald V granted it royal assent, and it came into effect on the first day of 2009. Same-sex registered partnerships had previously been available since 1st August, 1993 – the second country in the world to do so.

A 2013 Ipsos poll found 78% of respondents approve of same-sex marriage.

8. Sweden (2009)

Same-sex marriage became legal in Sweden on the 1st May, 2009.

Registered partnerships were adopted on the 1st January, 1995 for same-sex couples. In 2004, the Parliament opened a commission to investigate the possibility of same-sex marriage, with the final report delivered in March 2007 that recommended the measure. It was on the 21st January, 2009 that the bill was introduced. The bill was approved on the 1st April, 2009 with 261 votes for, and only 22 against.

A 2015 Eurobarmeter poll in 2015, saw 90% of respondents approving of same-sex marriage.

9. Mexico (2010 – )

Same-sex marriage is not legal throughout Mexico, but only in certain states. The first state to legalise same-sex marriage was Mexico City, on the 4th March, 2010. A ruling on the 10th August, 2010 by the Supreme Court of Mexico stated that same-sex marriages in Mexico City must be considered valid nationwide.

Since 2009, various states have legalised same-sex marriage – Campeche (May 20, 2016), Chiapas (July 11th, 2017), Chihuahua (June 12, 2015), Coahuila (September 17th, 2014), Colima (June 12th, 2016), Jalisco (May 12th, 2016), Michoacán (June 23rd, 2016), Morelos (July 5th, 2016), Nayarit (December 23rd, 2015), Puebla (August 1st, 2017), Quintana Roo (May 3rd, 2012).

Although only certain states have legalised it, all states, regardless of whether they perform same-sex marriages or not, must recognise those conducted by other states.

A 2016 poll by Gabinete de Comunicación Estratégica shows respondents approving of same-sex marriage at 69%.

10. Portugual (2010)

Same-sex marriage became legal on the 5th June, 2010.

In the 2009 elections, Prime Minister José Sócrates announced that if re-elected, his party would introduce a bill to legalise same-sex marriages. He was re-elected in October 2009, and on the 17th December, 2009, the Government approved a bill to legalise same-sex marriages. The bill was passed by the Portuguese Parliament on the 8th January, 2010, 126 votes for, and 97 against. The final parliamentary vote passed on 11th February.

On the 13th March, 2010, President Aníbal Cavaco Silva sought for the Constitutional Court to verify whether the bill was constitutional, and it did, 11 votes against 2, on the 8th April 2010. The President signed the bill on the 17th May, 2010.

A 2016 ILGA poll saw 53% of respondents in favour of same-sex marriage.

11. Iceland (2010)

Same-sex marriage became legal in Iceland on the 27th June, 2010. The Althing approved a gender-neutral marriage bill on the 11th June, 2010; with 49 votes for, and no votes against (although 14 votes were not present).

The Government of Iceland elected in April 2009 announced its intention for gender-neutral marriage, and the bill was eventually presented on the 23rd March, 2010.

A Gallup poll in 2004 saw 87% of respondents approve of same-sex marriage.

12. Argentina (2010)

Argentina legalised same-sex marriage in 2010, becoming legal on July 22, under the presidency of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. It became the first country in Latin America to legalise same-sex marriage, and the second in the Southern Hempisphere to legalise it nationwide. Civil Unions existed previously in selected jurisdictions. The senate had passed the bill to legalise same-sex marriage on July 15th 2010, with a vote of 33 to 27.

A 2015 poll conducted in Argentina by Ipsos found that 59% of respondents approved of same-sex marriage. According to literature published in 2008, 76.5% of Argentines are Roman Catholic.

In 2010, the Archbishop of Beunos Aires – who would later become Pope Francis – wrote that he opposed same-sex marriage, in which he stated: “the Argentine people will face a situation whose outcome can seriously harm the family… Let’s not be naive: This is not a simple political fight; it is a destructive proposal to God’s plan.”

13. Brazil (2011-2013)

Same-sex marriage in Brazil became legal nationwide on the 16th May, 2013. Same-sex unions had previously been legal since 2004. Previously, same-sex marriage had been legal in several jurisdictions, starting with Alagoas in December 2011.

On the 14th May, 2013, the National Council of Brazil legalised same-sex marriage nationwide with a vote of 14-1. Brazil’s Social Christian Party made various attempts to appeal the ruling, but none were success.

A 2015 poll conducted by Ipsos found that 43% of respondents were opposed to same-sex marriage, slightly higher than those in favour (40%).

14. Denmark (2012)

Same-sex marriage became legal on the 15th June, 2012 in Denmark. The bill for legislation was introduced by the coalition government of Helle Thorning-Schmidt and approved by the Folketing on 7th June, 2012, receiving royal assent from Margrethe II on the 12th June.

Registered partnerships had existed in Denmark since 1989, the world’s first law in this regard for same-sex couples. Same-sex couple rights were expanded and virtually matched by 2010. Various marriage bills were introduced in 2006, 2008 and 2010, all unsuccessful. In 2011, the Minister for Equality and Church Affairs, Manu Sareen announced the new Government was seeking to legalise same-sex marriages in the next year. The approval for the legislation was won with 85 votes to 25.

A Eurobarometer poll conducted in 2015 found an impressive 87% of respondents approved of same-sex marriage.

15. France (2013)

Same-sex marriage became legal in France on the 18th May, 2013. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault’s Socialist Party introduced the bill on the 7th November, 2012, with the support of President François Hollande. The National Assembly approved the bill, 329-229, on the 12th February, 2013.

The Senate approved the bill, with amendments, on the 23rd April, 2013, 332-225. The bill was promulgated by President Hollande on the 17th May. The first same-sex marriage took place on the 29th May.

A 2011 bill legalising same-sex marriage was previously defeated 293-222 on the 14th June.

France’s legalisation of same-sex marriage also applies to its overseas territories.

A 2015 poll by BVA saw 66% of respondents approved of same-sex marriage.

16. Uruguay (2013)

Same-sex marriage became legal in Uruguay on August 5th, 2013.

Uruguay was the first country in Latin America to introduce civil unions on January 20th, 2008. However, on May 25th, 2009, Senator Percovich said that if the Broad Front won the upcoming elections it would introduce legislation to legalise same-sex marriage. Broad Front did indeed win, and in July 2010 announced its intention to introduce legislation.

The bill for legislation was first presented in April 2011, and submitted to the Chamber of Deputies on the 6th September, 2011. A June 2012 by a judicial court recognised a foreign same-sex marriage, and ruled that existing local laws already permit same-sex marriage, although the decision was appealed. The debate began on the 4th July, 2012 in the Chamber of Deputies’s Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee. The bill was given approval on the 28th November, 2012, and again on the 5th December.

81 out of 87 MPs approved the bill on the 12th December and it was sent to the Senate, and approved on the 2nd April, 2013, with a 23-8 vote. The amended bill was then approved by the Chamber of Deputies on 10th April, 2013, signed by the president on May 3rd, and took effect the following August.

Baròmetro de las Américas por LAPOP conducted a poll in 2014 that saw 70% of respondents approved of same-sex marriage.

17. New Zealand (2013)

Same-sex marriage became legal in New Zealand on the 19th August, 2013.

The bill was passed by the House of Representatives on 17th April, 2013, 77 votes to 44; receiving royal assent on the 19th April. However, the legislation only applies to New Zealand proper, not the Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau – which do not perform or recognise same-sex marriages.

Civil unions came into force on the 26th April, 2005 for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. A previous bill to restrict and not recognise overseas same-sex marriages in 2005 failed, 47 votes in favour and 53 against. The successful bill that would eventually legalise same-sex marriage was a private member’s bill submitted by lesbian  Labour MP Louisa Wall on the 30th May, 2012.

A 2016 ILGA poll saw respondents support same-sex marriage at 57%.

18. United Kingdom (2014-)

Same-sex marriage became legal in England & Wales on 13th March, 2014 and in Scotland on 16th December, 2014.

December 2005 saw the introduction of Civil Partnerships. In 2003, when a same-sex female couple returned to Britain that they found their marriage in Canada was not legally recognised in the UK, and sued for the recognition of their marriage, and rejected a civil partnership recognition on the basis that it was not the same.

On the 12th March, 2012, the Government launched a consultation into legalising same-sex marriage in England & Wales (Scotland was not included, as marriage is the responsibility of the Scottish Government). On the 11th December, 2012, the Government released the findings on the public consultation that found 53% agreed in gender-neutral marriage, while 46% opposed. Various faith groups petitioned the Government not to legalise same-sex marriages, collecting 500,000 signatures.

However, on that day, it was announced the Government would indeed be bringing forth legislation to legalise same-sex marriage. On the 24th January, 2013, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill was introduced by Maria Miller, and on the 5th February, the bill passed its second reading with 366 votes to 161.

It was then announced on the 13th December, 2013, that same-sex marriages could be performed from the 24th March, 2014 – with couples wanting to marry being able to give their intention to marry by 13th March, 2014 to be married on that date.

In Scotland, the Petitions Committee had received a petition in 2009, however, the petition – which, should it have been successful would have made Scotland the first place in the UK to legalise it – was rejected, because although marriage is a Scottish interest, knock-on effects, such as pensions, inheritance and immigration, were handled nationally.

A Scottish Social Attitudes survey in 2011 saw that 60% of Scots were in favour of legalising same-sex marriage. On the 25th July, 2012, the Scottish Government announced its intention to legalise same-sex marriage, and to work with Westminster on the matter. The bill was introduced on the 15th July, 2013, with every elected party leader expressing support. 105 MPs approved the bill, with only 18 opposed, on the 4th February, 2014.

As marriage is also devolved to the Northern Irish Assembly, it is not legal in Northern Ireland. In the Northern Irish assembly, Sinn Féin support same-sex marriage where as the Democratic Unionist Party do not. In the 2017 elections, the DUP lost too many seats, however, to be able to block any introduced legislation regarding this matter with a petition of concern, which the DUP had been using the block same-sex marriage beforehand.

A 2016 ILGA poll shows respondents approve of same-sex marriage at 48%, compared to those opposed at 29%.

19. British Indian Ocean Territory (2014)

Same-sex marriage has been legal on the British Indian Ocean Territory since the 3rd June, 2014. It was enacted after an ordinance by the approved by the United Kingdom Privy Council on the 28th April 2014. All residents on the British Indian Ocean Territory are members of either the UK or US armed forces.

20. Luxembourg (2015)

Same-sex marriage became legal in Luxembourg on the 1st January, 2015.

Civil partnerships had previously been available since 2004. A motion to legalise same-sex marriage was defeated in July 2007, 38-22; but in July 2009, the newly formed Government had expressed its intention to legalise same-sex marriage. The Government accepted the bill on the 9th July, 2010 and submitted to Parliament on the 10th August.

Various challenges prevented same-sex marriage until a new coalition Government formed on the 4th December, 2013, and its leader – openly gay Prime Minister Xavier Bettel – had agreed to legislate to marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples. The legislation was voted for on the 18th June, 2014, with 56 for and 4 against.

The first same-sex marriage took place on the day it became legal, the 1st January 2015.

A 2015 Eurobarmeter poll showed respondents express approval for same-sex marriage at 75%.

21. Pitcairn Islands (2015)

Same-sex marriage was legalised on the Pitcairn Islands on the 14th May 2015, despite there being no openly same-sex couples on the island!

A vote to allow same-sex marriages passed unanimously on the 1st April, 2015 by the Island Council and signed by the Governor on the 5th May, and then published on the 13th May.

22-25. Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands (2015)

Guam began recognising and issuing marriage licenses from the 5th June, 2015, following a ruling by the District Court of Guam that the marriage ban was unconstitutional. The Marriage Equality Act was then passed on August 27th, 2015.

With the Supreme Court ruling of the United States, the Northern Mariana Islands had same-sex marriage legalised on the 29th June, 2015. The first same-sex marriage took place on the 22nd July of that year.

As with the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico was affected by the Supreme Court ruling in the United States, and marriage licenses were issued from July 13th, 2015, with the first marriages taking place on the 17th July.

As with Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands were affected by the Supreme Court ruling, and announced it would comply with the ruling. On July 9th, the required legislation was signed, with the first licenses being applied for on July 13th, and the first marriages granted on the 21st.

26. Republic of Ireland (2015)

Same-sex marriage in the Republic of Ireland has been legal since the 15th November, 2015, following the referendum on the 22nd May of that year.

Previous legislation that came into effect on the 1st January, 2011, granted same-sex couples many, but not all, of the rights of married couples. Previous bills had been introduced but not approved in 2004, 2006 and 2007. Over the course of 2011-2013, various investigations were put forward to look at the constitutional status of marriage in Ireland, with the coalition government of the time planning to introduce same-sex marriage.

On the 14th April, 2013, the Constitutional Convention approved provisions allowing for same-sex marriage, to be discussed by the Oireachtas and put to referendum (as all Constitutional amendments must be). It was announced on the 5th November, 2014 that the referendum would happen in the first half of 2013; on the 1st July, 2014, Taoiseach Enda Kelly announced it would happen in the Spring of 2015.

It was the first referendum world wide on the subject of same-sex marriage, and the Thirty-fourth Amendment to the Constitution of Ireland passed with a vote of 62% against 39%. Voter turn out was 60%. Ireland, long considered a loyally Catholic country, surprised the world, as the Catholic Church was opposed to same-sex marriage.

A 2016 ILGA poll saw approval for same-sex marriage at 64%.

27. Greenland (2016)

Same-sex marriage became legal on the 1st April, 2016. The Parliament of Greenland approved same-sex marriage legislation on the 26th May, 2015, with the Danish Parliament ratifying the legislation on the 19th January, 2016.

Denmark’s registered partnerships had been introduced to Denmark on the 26th April, 1996. Legislation granting same-sex couples full marriage and adoption rights were expected in 2014, but was held off due to early elections. On the 25th April, 2015, it had its first reading, its second reading on 26th May, 2015, was passed without opposition.

28. Colombia (2016)

Same-sex marriage became legal on the 28th April, 2016, after the Constitutional Court of Colombia ruled by a 6-3 vote that the ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The first same-sex marriage was performed roughly a month later on the 24th May.

The same Constitutional Court had previously opened several common-law marriage and property rights to same-sex couples in 2007; by 2011, same-sex couples enjoyed the rights of opposite-sex couples in this respect. A Civil Unions bill was introduced in 2015, although failed as it had not been debated in time.

A 2016 poll by Gallup found that 57% of respondents were opposed to same-sex marriage, whilst 40% were for.

29. Isle of Man (2016)

Same-sex marriage became legal on the Isle of Man on the 22nd July, 2016. Civil Partnerships had been legal since the 6th April, 2011.

Chief Minister Allan Bell had announced his intention to repeal the island’s ban on same-sex marriage on the 9th June, 2015. A public consultation took place between 15th October and the 13th November that year, with a bill expected to be presented to the Tynwald in 2016 if consultation suggested support.

The bill was published on the 22nd January 2016, and voted for in The House of Keys second reading on 9th February, 2016, passing 18 votes against 4; on its third reading on the 8th March, it passed 17 votes to 3. It was then passed by the Legislative Council 6-3 on all three readings on the 22nd March, 12th and 26th April, and then was unanimously passed 22-0 by the House of Keys on the 10th May.

The bill was signed in the Tynwald Court on the 21st June. Due to the Brexit vote, its royal assent was delayed, but was given by the Privy Council on the 13th July, proclaimed six days later on the 19th.

30. British Antarctic Territory (2016)

Same-sex marriage became legal on the British Antarctic Territory on the 13th October, 2016, after being proclaimed by Commissioner Peter Hayes. Between the 2nd August and the 30th October, 2016, a consultation on drafting a new marriage ordinance took place, in order for the Territory to apply the English laws regarding marriage.

31. Gibraltar (2016)

Same-sex marriage has been legal on Gibraltar since the 15th December, 2016. Civil partnerships were previously introduced on 28th March, 2014.

The GSLP–Liberal Alliance pledged that if re-elected in 2015, they would bring community consultation on the issue regarding same-sex marriage. On the 5th January, 2016, a Government spokesperson said that a referendum on the issue had not be ruled out. After considering the responses of the consultation, the Government eventually introduced the Civil Marriage Amendment Bill 2016 on October 26th, which was passed unanimously by all present MPs. It received royal assent on the 1st November and came into effect on the 15th December. The first same-sex marriage was celebrated the next day.

32. Ascension Island (2017)

Same-sex marriage has been legal on Ascension Island since the 1st January, 2017. An ordinance allowing same-sex marriage was passed 5-0 on the 31st May, 2016. The Governor issued the order and date of legalisation on the 23rd December.

33. Finland (2017)

Same-sex marriage became legal in Finland on the 1st March, 2017. The bill to legalise same-sex marriages was approved by Parliament on the 12th December, 2014, and received the President’s signature on the 20th February, 2015.

From 2002-2017, same-sex couples could have registered partnerships, giving them equal rights as married opposite-sex couples, except adoption rights and shared surnames. In 2010, various surveys put forward to MPs about same-sex marriage showed a slight majority opposed. By 2013, momentum for same-sex marriage gathered pace, and a citizen initiative for same-sex marriage was rejected by a 2014 vote by the Legal Affairs Committee, 10-6. By late 2014, with the Parliament rejecting another vote by the Committee to reject same-sex marriage, the Grand Committee later voted 17-8 for the same-sex marriage initiative.

On the 12th December, 2014, the Parliament of Finland approved the initiative 101-90, and was signed by President Sauli Niinistö on the 20th February, 2015.

A 2015 Eurobarometer poll saw 66% of respondents in favour of same-sex marriage. After some church officials of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland spoke in favour of same-sex marriage in 2014, thousands of Finns resigned from the Church.

34. Falkland Islands (2017)

Same-sex marriage became legal on the Falkland Islands on the 29th April, 2017. On the 13th May, 2015 the Attorney General first recommended to the Executive Council to consider the legalisation of either civil partnerships or marriage.

An ordinance on the subject then took place, with 90% of residents approved of granting same-sex marriage rights, and 94% approved of civil partnerships for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. The draft amendment was considered by the Executive Council on the 22nd February, 2017, and the Legislative Assembly approved the Marriage (Amendment) Bill 2017 7-1 on the 30th March. The Governor of the Falkland Islands issued royal assent on the 13th April. A community event celebrating the new amendment took place on the 29th. The only opposing member to same-sex marriage had voted in favour of civil partnerships for same-sex couples.

35. Guernsey (2017)

Same-sex marriage has been legal in the Bailwick of Guernsey since the 2nd May, 2017.

After it was announced in January 2014 that Guernsey were considering dropping state-sanctioned marriages and having only civil unions. A consultation on the proposal took place between the 1st June and 13th July in 2015, and the majority of 1600 responses indicated a preference to legalising same-sex marriage rather than a partnership law.

The proposal for same-sex marriage was passed by The States of Guernsey with 37 for and 7 against on the 10th December 2015. The same-sex marriage bill was then passed on the 21st September, 2016 with 33 for and 5 against. It received royal assent in the Privy Council on 14th December, 2016.

36. Bermuda (2017)

Same-sex marriage has been legal on Bermuda since the 5th May, 2017, after the Supreme Court of Bermuda ruled in favour of it. The first marriage took place on the 31st May 2017. This came after a same-sex couple were rejected a marriage license and appealed. The Government announced they would not appeal the decision.

A 2015 poll by The Royal Gazette found 48% of Bermudians approved of same-sex marriage, with 44% against.

37. Tristan da Cunha (2017)

Same-sex marriage has been legal on Tristan da Cunha since the 4th August, 2017. The Tristan da Cunha Island Council consulted with the Governor Saint Helena (where same-sex marriage isn’t currently legal), on the 23rd February, 2017, with the intention to legalise same-sex marriage. It was signed and published on the 4th August, becoming into effect that very day.

38. Faroe Islands (2017*)

The first same-sex marriages are expected to be performed by late summer, 2017. By 2017, the Faroe Islands were the only Nordic region to not have same-sex unions, as Denmark’s registered partnership legislation had never been introduced. Gender-neutral marriage laws were introduced on the 20th November, 2013, although rejected on its second reading on 13th March, 2013.

In September 2015, bills legalising same-sex marriage and same-sex divorce were introduced, and were passed on its second reading on the 26th April, 2016, by a vote of 19-14. A 2014 poll found that 61% of respondents approved of same-sex marriage, although a poll conducted by YouGov between 2012-2013 had a higher approval of 79%.

39. Germany (2017*)

On the 30th June, 2017, the Bundestag passed a bill allowing same-sex marriage, and bar any successful legal challenges, same-sex marriage is expected to become legal on the 1st October, 2017.

Since 2001, Germany has allowed registered life partnerships for same-sex couples, but marriage equality had been put off. Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, surprised audiences when she told them that same-sex marriage would be given a conscience vote in the Bundestag in the near future (Merkel has stated that she wasn’t in favour of same-sex marriage). It was eventually approved with a vote of 393 for and 226 against.

A 2017 poll by the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency found 83% of respondents approved of same-sex marriage.

40. Malta (2017*)

A bill legalising same-sex marriage was passed by the Maltese parliament on the 12th July, 2017. It was signed by the President on the 1st August.

The expected data for when it becomes legal is yet to be announced.

In March 2016, the Prime Minister of Malta expressed that he was in favour of same-sex marriages, and that there needed to be a national debate on the issue. The first reading of the introduced bill took place the 24th June, 2017. The second reading of the bill, on the 5th July, saw all but one MP vote in favour; its third reading on the 12th July passed 66-1.

A poll conducted by Business Leaders Malta in 2016 saw respondents approve of same-sex marriage at 61%.

41. Taiwan (Before 2019)

On the 24th May, 2017, the Constitutional Court of Taiwan ruled that current marriage laws are unconstitutional, giving the Legislative Yuan two years to rectify this – if they don’t, same-sex marriages will automatically become legal.

Various jurisdictions around Taiwan already have registered partnerships, although they do not extent the same rights as marriage.

42. Australia (2017-8)

In 2017, Australia held an voluntary postal vote on whether or not the marriage laws should be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry. The results were announced on the 15th November, 2017, with 61.6% of respondents in favour. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said that the results will mean that legislation for marriage equality will be put forward ‘before Christmas’, although conservatives that disagree with the result are trying to delay and amend proposed legislation to put in place “religious freedom” measures that go far beyond protecting religious ministers from being obliged to perform same-sex marriages.

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Where is same-sex marriage legal?