Countries where same sex marriages are legal

same sex marriageJune 26, 2015 was a historic day in the history of the United States of America, with the Supreme Court legalizing gay marriages nationwide. This move by the Supreme Court has been recognized as a historic victory for the LGBT community that had strived to make these laws a reality. Here is a list of countries where gay marriages are legal:

The Netherlands: Same sex marriages in this country have been legal since April 1, 2001. The Netherlands was the first country in the world to have passed a law regarding this. Gay rights activists in this country had been protesting since the mid 1980s, before the Parliament decided to create a special commission to discuss the possibilities of same sex marriages in the country. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives by 109 votes to 33 votes.

Belgium: On June 1, 2003 Belgium became only the second country in the world to legalize same sex marriages. According to statistics, a total of 21,391 same sex marriages had taken place in the country, accounting for 2.49 percent of all marriages in the country between 2004 and 2013.

Canada: Canada became the first country outside Europe and the fourth overall to have legalized gay marriages, with the enactment of the Civil Marriage Act, which brought gender neutrality to marriages. The court has already made same sex marriages legal in 8 out of 10 provinces and 1 of 3 territories. According to stats, 3000 couples across Canada had already been married before the act was passed on July 20, 2005.

Argentina: Argentina became the first country in Latin America and the first in Americas to have legalized same sex marriages. It was the tenth country worldwide to do so. In July, 2010 when the law was under consideration, it received serious opposition from the Archbishop of Buenos Aires.

New Zealand: A bill for legalization of same sex marriages was passed in the House of Representatives on April 17, 2013 and was passed by 77 votes to 44 votes. On April 19, 2013 same sex marriages became legal in New Zealand. It took the authorities about 4 months to enforce this rule in the country, owing to the time taken by authorities to make changes to marriage licensing and other relevant documents.

Ireland: Same sex marriages in the Ireland became legal from November 16, 2015. The measure was signed into law courtesy of the 34th amendment of the Constitution of Ireland. The Marriage Act 2015 was enforced to recognize a marriage, irrespective of sex of the partners. Civil partnerships, gave same sex couples the rights that were similar to but not equal to those enjoyed by those couples bound by civil marriage.

So far 21 countries across the globe have legalized same sex marriages and more countries are expected to follow suit in the coming years.