LGBT / WORLD

WORLD LAWS

Same-sex marriage
Canada
The Netherlands
Belgium
Spain
South Africa
Norway
Massachussetts (USA)
Connecticut (USA)
Iowa (USA)
Vermont (USA)
Maine (USA)
California (USA) PENDING

Recognized
New York (USA)
Israel
Aruba (Dutch)
Netherlands Antilles

Same-sex partnership
Andorra
Czech Republic
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Greenland
Hungary
Iceland
Luxembourg
New Zealand
Slovenia
Switzerland
United Kingdom
Uruguay

Recognized
Argentina (C, R, VCP)
Australia (TAS, ACT, VIC)
Mexico (Coah, DF)
Isle of Man
USA (CA, CO, DC, HI, MD, NH, NJ, OR, WA)

Source: Wikipedia

Gay Marriage Map

CHANGING GLOBAL ATTITUDES

Around the world, people are standing up for change and equal rights for all. The acceptance of gay marriage has been spreading globally and has been passed into law in seven countries, including South Africa and Spain. Most EU countries have same-sex civil union laws that give gay couples the same rights as opposite-sex couples in all but name.

In the US, the question of equal marriage rights for gay couples continues to be is a major issue, having been legalized in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Iowa, Vermont and now Maine. The battle over Prop 8 continues in California.

Gay marriage is being hotly debated around the world. The map above will continue to get pinker over the next decade until the issue is resolved globally.

THE NETHERLANDS
Having recognized the same-sex partnerships, geregistreerd partnerschap, since 1998, including sponsorization of the "spouse" to receive Dutch citizenship, the ever-pragmatic Netherlands finally cut the crap and called a rose a rose. The Netherlands was the first country to legalize same-sex marriage on April 1, 2001.

BELGIUM
As the seat of the European Union, Belgium could hardly expect backing for the EU human rights requirements without correcting its own laws and extending marriage rights to same-sex couples. Belgium was the second nation to legalize gay marriage in January 30, 2003.

SPAIN
Despite its strong Catholic ties to Rome, Spain had 66% support of the population in favor of gay marriage. The new Socialist government legalized same-sex marriage on July 3, 2005, making it the third country to do so.

CANADA
On July 20, 2005, the chilled-out Canadians became the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide, having been passed into law province by province. Thousands of US couples crossed the border to get a taste of Canadian justice.

SOUTH AFRICA
Going from Apartheid to the legalization of same-sex marriage in just over a decade, South Africa serves as a beacon for social progress throughout Africa and the rest of the world. The fifth country in the world to legalize gay marriage on November 3, 2006.

NORWAY
In May 29, 2008, Norway passed a gender-neutral marriage law, giving same-sex couple the right to marry. Norway has had a Civil Partnership Act since 1993 (similar to Great Britain's) that granted most of the same rights as marriage.

USA
As the controversy begun by California's Prop 8 continues to sweep the country, seven other states have passed same-sex marriage laws and many more have legislation in the works. See Gay Marriage in the USA.

CIVIL PARTNERSHIPS & UNIONS

UNITED KINGDOM
The United Kingdom (England, Scotland and Wales) passed the Civil Partnership Act in 2004 giving same-sex couples exactly the same rights as marriage in all but name. Divorce is called dissolution, and couples are called married by all but the Crown.

FRANCE
The pacte civil de solidarité (PACS) is the rage in France as an alternative to marriage between same- and opposite-sex couples. PACS has less of the 'stigma' of marriage, as well as somewhat less responsibility, and has been embraced by many young couples, both gay and straight.

GERMANY
The Gesetz zur Überarbeitung des Lebenspartnerschaftsrechts (Life Partnership Law Revision Act) gives same-sex couples almost all of the same rights as marriage.

ICELAND
One of the few countries to allow its Church to bless same-sex unions. Iceland passed its Registered Partnerships Act in 1993, with better provisions (and little to no dissent) in its amendments of 2006 and 2008. It's only a matter of time for Iceland to throw in the towel and just call it marriage.

MEXICO
On November 9, 2006, Mexico City legalized civil unions between same-sex couples with the Ley de Sociedad de Convivencia. It came into force on March 16, 2007. Does not include adoption and many other marriage rights.On January 11, 2007, the northern state of Coahuila passed Pacto Civil de Solidaridad granting similar civil unions status to gay couples.

NEW ZEALAND
The Kiwi's Civil Union Act was passed in 2004 giving both same- and opposite-sex couples the same rights as marriage provides, including immigration, next-of-kin, and social welfare benefits.

ARGENTINA
Buenos Aires, the Province of Río Negro, and the city of Villa Carlos Paz offer civil unions, which are private contracts between two adults (opposite-sex and same-sex couples) who have lived together for at least two years. The civil union gives both members of the couple health and insurance benefits and hospital visitation rights.

Most civilized countries have some form of legal recognition for same-sex couples, but there is still a "separate but equal" quality to most laws.