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Same-sex marriage

Source: Wikipedia
Same-sex marriage, also known as gay marriage, is marriage between two persons of the same biological
sex or gender identity. Legal recognition of same-sex marriage is sometimes referred to as marriage
equality, particularly by supporters.
Since 2000, eleven countries
(Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South
Africa, Sweden) and several sub-national jurisdictions (parts of Brazil, Mexico and the United States) have
begun to allow same-sex couples to marry. Bills legalizing same-sex marriage have been proposed, are
pending, or have passed at least one legislative house
in Andorra, Colombia, Finland, France, Luxembourg, Nepal, New Zealand, Taiwan, the United Kingdom,
and Uruguay as well as in the legislatures of several sub-national jurisdictions (in Scotland as well as parts
of Australia, Mexico, and the United States).
Introduction of same-sex marriage has varied by jurisdiction, being variously accomplished through a
legislative change to marriage laws, a court ruling based on constitutional guarantees of equality, or by direct
popular vote (via a ballot initiative or a referendum). The recognition of same-sex marriage is a political,
social, civil-rights and religious issue in many nations, and debates continue to arise over whether same-sex
couples should be allowed marriage, be required to hold a different status (a civil union), or not have any such
Same-sex marriages can be performed in a secular civil ceremony or in a religious setting. Various religious
groups around the world practice same-sex marriages; for example: Quakers, Episcopalians, the Metropolitan
Community Church, the United Church of Christ, the United Church of Canada, Reform and
Conservative Jews, Wiccans, Druids, Unitarian Universalists and Native American religions with a twospirit tradition.
Studies conducted in several countries indicate that support for the legalization of same-sex marriage increases
with higher levels of education and that support is strong among younger people. Additionally, polls show that
there is rising support for same-sex marriage across all races, ethnicities, ages, religions, socioeconomic
statuses, etc.
The introduction of same-sex marriage has varied by jurisdiction, resulting from legislative changes to
marriage laws, court challenges based on constitutional guarantees of equality, or legalization by voters
through referendums and ballot initiatives. The recognition of same-sex marriages is a civil rights, equality,
human rights, political, social, moral, and religious issue in many nations. Debates arise over whether samesex couples should be allowed to enter into marriage, be required to use a different status (such as a civil
union, which either grant equal rights as marriage or limited rights in comparison to marriage), or not have any
such rights. Same-sex marriage can provide LGBT taxpayers with government services and make financial
demands on them comparable to those afforded to and required of male-female married couples. Same-sex
marriage also gives them legal protections such as inheritance and hospital visitation rights.
Eleven countries (Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland,
the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain,South Africa, Sweden) allow same-sex couples to marry nationwide.
Same-sex marriages are also performed and recognized in Mexico City, Quintana Roo, and parts of the United
States; in Brazil, civil unions may be converted into marriage. Some jurisdictions that do not perform same-sex
marriages but recognize it being performed elsewhere include: Israel, Aruba, Curaao and Sint Maarten, Rhode
Island in the United States,Mexico, Brazil, and, in at least one case, Uruguay. Australia recognizes same-sex
marriages only if one partner has had gender reassignment therapy.
Some analysts state that financial, psychological and physical well-being are enhanced by marriage, and that
children of same-sex couples benefit from being raised by two parents within a legally recognized union
supported by society's institutions. Court documents filed by American scientific associations also state that
singling out gay men and women as ineligible for marriage both stigmatizes and invites public discrimination
against them. The American Anthropological Association avers that social science research does not support
the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon not recognizing same-sex marriage.

Some organizations have described same-sex marriage as a universal human rights issue, equality before the
law, and of normalizing LGBT relationships. Several authors attribute opposition to same-sex marriage as
coming from homophobia or heterosexism and liken prohibitions on same-sex marriage to past prohibitions on
interracial marriage between blacks and whites.
LGBT parenting
Literature indicates that parents' financial, psychological and physical well-being is enhanced by marriage and
that children benefit from being raised by two parents within a legally recognized union. Scientific research
has been generally consistent in showing that lesbian and gay parents are as fit and capable as heterosexual
parents, and their children are as psychologically healthy and well-adjusted as children reared by heterosexual
parents. According to scientific literature reviews, there is no evidence to the contrary.
Same-sex marriage can remove legal obstacles to the adoption of children by lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons. Adoption can take the form of a joint adoption by a same-sex
couple or adoption by one member of a same-sex couple of the other's biological child (step-parent adoption).
All countries which allow same-sex marriage also allow joint adoption, with the exception of Portugal. In
addition, several countries which do not have marriage equality nonetheless permit joint adoption: Brazil; most
of the United Kingdom; Uruguay; Western Australia, NSW, and Canberra within Australia; Coahuilla in
Mexico; a number of US states (Rhode Island, New Jersey, California, Indiana, Florida, Arkansas, Illinois,
Oregon, Hawaii, Nevada, Delaware, and Guam); and in at least a few cases, Israel.
Surrogacy and fertility treatment
A gay or bisexual man has the option of surrogacy, the process in which a woman bears a child for another
person through artificial insemination or carries another woman's surgically implantedfertilized egg to birth. A
lesbian or bisexual woman has the option of artificial insemination.
The American Psychological Association stated in 2004:[15]
The institution of civil marriage confers a social status and important legal benefits, rights, and privileges. ...
Same-sex couples are denied equal access to civil marriage. ... Same-sex couples who enter into a civil union
are denied equal access to all the benefits, rights, and privileges provided by federal law to married couples ...
The benefits, rights, and privileges associated with domestic partnerships are not universally available, are not
equal to those associated with marriage, and are rarely portable ... Denial of access to marriage to same-sex
couples may especially harm people who also experience discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity,
disability, gender and gender identity, religion, and socioeconomic status ... the APA believes that it is unfair
and discriminatory to deny same-sex couples legal access to civil marriage and to all its attendant benefits,
rights, and privileges.
The American Sociological Association stated in 2004:
... a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman intentionally discriminates
against lesbians and gay men as well as their children and other dependents by denying access to the
protections, benefits, and responsibilities extended automatically to married couples ... we believe that the
official justification for the proposed constitutional amendment is based on prejudice rather than empirical
research ... the American Sociological Association strongly opposes the proposed constitutional amendment
defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

The Canadian Psychological Association stated in 2006:

The literature (including the literature on which opponents to marriage of same-sex couples appear to rely)
indicates that parents' financial, psychological and physical well-being is enhanced by marriage and that
children benefit from being raised by two parents within a legally-recognized union. As the CPA stated in
2003, the stressors encountered by gay and lesbian parents and their children are more likely the result of the
way society treats them than because of any deficiencies in fitness to parent. The CPA recognizes and
appreciates that persons and institutions are entitled to their opinions and positions on this issue. However,
CPA is concerned that some are mis-interpreting the findings of psychological research to support their
positions, when their positions are more accurately based on other systems of belief or values. CPA asserts that
children stand to benefit from the well-being that results when their parents' relationship is recognized and
supported by society's institutions.
The American Anthropological Association stated in 2005:
The results of more than a century of anthropological research on households, kinship relationships, and
families, across cultures and through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization
or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather,
anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon
same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies.
The American Academy of Pediatrics concluded in 2006, in an analysis published in the journal Pediatrics:
There is ample evidence to show that children raised by same-gender parents fare as well as those raised by
heterosexual parents. More than 25 years of research have documented that there is no relationship between
parents' sexual orientation and any measure of a child's emotional, psychosocial, and behavioral adjustment.
These data have demonstrated no risk to children as a result of growing up in a family with 1 or more gay
parents. Conscientious and nurturing adults, whether they are men or women, heterosexual or homosexual, can
be excellent parents. The rights, benefits, and protections of civil marriage can further strengthen these
The United Kingdom's Royal College of Psychiatrists has stated:
... lesbian, gay and bisexual people are and should be regarded as valued members of society who have exactly
similar rights and responsibilities as all other citizens. This includes ... the rights and responsibilities involved
in a civil partnership ...
In 2010, a Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health study examining the effects of institutional
discrimination on the psychiatric health of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals found an increase in
psychiatric disorders, including a more than doubling of anxiety disorders, among the LGB population living
in states that instituted bans on same-sex marriage. According to the author, the study highlighted the
importance of abolishing institutional forms of discrimination, including those leading to disparities in the
mental health and well-being of LGB individuals. Institutional discrimination is characterized by societal-level
conditions that limit the opportunities and access to resources by socially disadvantaged groups.
Gay activist Jonathan Rauch has argued that marriage is good for all men, whether homosexual or
heterosexual, because engaging in its social roles reduces men's aggression and promiscuity. The data of
current psychological and other social science studies on same-sex marriage in comparison to opposite-sex
marriage indicate that same-sex and opposite-sex relationships do not differ in their essential psychosocial
dimensions; that a parent's sexual orientation is unrelated to their ability to provide a healthy and nurturing
family environment; and that marriage bestows substantial psychological, social, and health benefits. Same-sex
couples and their children are likely to benefit in numerous ways from legal recognition of their families, and
providing such recognition through marriage will bestow greater benefit than civil unions or domestic
In 2009, a pair of economists at Emory University tied the passage of state bans on same-sex marriage in the
US to an increase in the rates of HIV infection. The study linked the passage of a same-sex marriage ban in a
state to an increase in the annual HIV rate within that state of roughly 4 cases per 100,000 population.
Studies and polling

Polling and studies on the issue has been conducted throughout the first decade of the 21st century as well as
before. These polls and studies have shown a consistent trend of increasing support for same-sex marriage
across the world. Many developed countries achieved a majority of people in support of same-sex marriage in
the first decade of the 21st century. Support for legalization has increased across every age group, political
ideology, religion, gender, race, and region of various developed countries in the world.
Various detailed polls and studies about same-sex marriage conducted in several countries generally show that
support for same-sex marriage increases with higher levels of education, and that younger people are more
likely to support the legalization of it than older generations. In each U.S. state to hold a voter referendum on
the issue prior to November 2012, the public has rejected same-sex marriage laws. However, recent polls
indicate that more than half of Americans support same-sex marriage, approximately 53%. Several polls and
studies have shown that people who personally know a person who is gay are much more likely to support
LGBT rights and same-sex marriage than those who do not. Voters in Maine, Maryland and
Washington approved same-sex marriage by referendum on 6 November 2012.
Current status
Legal recognition
Same-sex marriage is legally recognized nationwide in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland,
the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden. In the United States, same-sex marriages
are not recognized federally, though same-sex couples can marry in nine of the fifty states and one district.
In Mexico, same-sex marriages are only performed in City and Quintana Roo, but these marriages are
recognized by all Mexican states and by the Mexican federal government. Israel does not recognize same-sex
marriages performed on its territory, but recognizes same-sex marriages performed in foreign jurisdictions.
Same-sex couples had their civil unions converted into marriage in several Brazil states with the approval of a
state judge. If approved, that marriage is recognized in all the national territory.

Homosexual acts legal

Same-sex marriage
Marriage recognized but not performed
Other type of partnership
Same-sex unions not recognized

Homosexual acts illegal

Not enforced
Heavy penalty
Up to life in prison
Death penalty

On 15 July 2010, the Argentine Senate approved a bill extending marriage rights to same-sex couples. It was
supported by the Government of President Cristina Fernndez de Kirchner and opposed by the Catholic
Church. Polls showed that nearly 70% of Argentines supported giving gay people the same marital rights as
Belgium became the second country in the world to legally recognize same-sex marriages on 1 June 2003, with
the coming into force of a bill passed by the Belgian Federal Parliament. Originally, Belgium allowed the
marriages of foreign same-sex couples only if their country of origin also allowed these unions, however
legislation enacted in October 2004 permits any couple to marry if at least one of the spouses has lived in the
country for a minimum of three months. A 2006 law enabled legal adoption by same-sex spouses.
Brazil's Supreme Court ruled in May 2011 that same-sex couples are legally entitled to civil unions, stopping
short of same-sex marriage.[93] Same-sex couples had their civil unions converted into marriage in several
Brazil states with the approval of a state judge. If approved, that marriage is recognized in all the national

territory. In November 2012, the Court of Bahia legalized same-sex marriage in the state of Bahia. In
December 2012, the state of So Paulo legalized same-sex marriage.
Legal recognition of same-sex marriage in Canada followed a series of constitutional challenges based on
the equality provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In the first such case, Halpern v.
Canada (Attorney General), same-sex marriage ceremonies performed in Ontario on 14 January 2001 were
subsequently validated when the common law, opposite-sex definition of marriage was held to be
unconstitutional. Similar rulings had legalized same-sex marriage in eight provinces and one territory when the
2005 Civil Marriage Act defined marriage throughout Canada as "the lawful union of two persons to the
exclusion of all others."
On 7 June 2012, the Folketing (Danish parliament) approved new laws regarding same-sex civil and religious
marriage. These laws permit same-sex couples to get married in the Church of Denmark. The bills
received Royal Assent on 12 June and took effect on 15 June 2012.[97] Denmark was previously the first
country in the world to legally recognize same-sex couples through registered partnerships in 1989.
Same-sex marriage was introduced in Iceland through legislation establishing a gender-neutral definition of
marriage introduced by the coalition government of the Social Democratic Alliance andLeft-Green Movement.
The legislation was passed unanimously by the Icelandic Althing on 11 June 2010, and took effect on 27 June
2010, replacing an earlier system of registered partnerships for same-sex couples. Prime Minister Jhanna
Sigurardttir and her partner were among first married same-sex couples in the country.
Israel's High Court of Justice ruled to honor same-sex marriages granted in other countries even though Israel
does not recognize such marriages performed under its own jurisdiction. A bill was raised in
the Knesset (parliament) to rescind the High Court's ruling, but the Knesset has not advanced the bill since
December 2006. A bill to legalize same-sex and interfaith civil marriages was defeated in the Knesset 39-11,
on 16 May 2012.
On 21 December 2009, the Federal District's Legislative Assembly legalized same-sex marriages and adoption
by same-sex couples. The law was enacted eight days later and became effective in early March 2010.[104] On
10 August 2010, the Mexican Supreme Court ruled that while not every state must grant same-sex marriages,
they must all recognize those performed where they are legal.[105]
On 28 November 2011, the first two same-sex marriages occurred in Quintana Roo after discovering that
Quintana Roo's Civil Code did not explicitly prohibit same-sex marriage,[106] but these marriages were later
annulled by the governor of Quintana Roo in April 2012.[107] In May 2012, the Secretary of State of Quintana
Roo reversed the annulments and allowed for future same-sex marriages to be performed in the state.
The Netherlands was the first country to extend marriage laws to include same-sex couples, following the
recommendation of a special commission appointed to investigate the issue in 1995. A same-sex marriage bill
passed the House of Representatives and the Senate in 2000, taking effect on 1 April 2001.[109]
In the Netherlands' Caribbean special municipalities of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, marriage is presently
restricted to heterosexual couples;[110] however, a law enabling same-sex couples to marry has been passed and
is planned to come into effect by 10 October 2012. The Caribbean countries Aruba, Curaao and Sint Maarten,
forming the remainder of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, do not perform same-sex marriages, but must
recognize those performed in the Netherlands proper.

Same-sex marriage became legal in Norway on 1 January 2009 when a gender neutral marriage bill was
enacted after being passed by the Norwegian legislature in June 2008. Norway became the
first Scandinavian country and the sixth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.
Gender neutral marriage replaced Norway's previous system of registered partnerships for same-sex couples.
Couples in registered partnerships are able to retain that status or convert their registered partnership to a
marriage. No new registered partnerships may be created.
On 8 January 2010, the parliament approved, with 126 votes in favor, 97 against and 7 abstentions, same-sex
marriage. The President promulgated the law on 8 April, same-sex marriage become legal since 5 June 2010,
thus Portugal became the eighth country to conduct nationwide same-sex marriage.
South Africa
Legal recognition of same-sex marriages in South Africa came about as a result of the Constitutional Court's
decision in the case of Minister of Home Affairs v Fourie. The court ruled on 1 December 2005 that the
existing marriage laws violated the equality clause of the Bill of Rights because they discriminated on the basis
of sexual orientation. The court gave Parliament one year to rectify the inequality. The Civil Union Act was
passed by theNational Assembly on 14 November 2006, by a vote of 230 to 41, and it came into force on 30
November 2006. South Africa is the fifth country, the first in Africa, and the second outside Europe, to legalize
same-sex marriage.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Spain since 3 July 2005. In 2004, the nation's newly
elected Socialist government, led by President Jos Luis Rodrguez Zapatero, began a campaign for its
legalization, including the right of adoption by same-sex couples.[114] After much debate, a law permitting
same-sex marriage was passed by the Cortes Generales (Spain's bicameral parliament, composed of
the Senate and the Congress of Deputies) on 30 June 2005 and published on 2 July 2005. Same-sex marriage
became legal in Spain on Sunday, 3 July 2005,[115] making it the third country in the world to do so, after the
Netherlands and Belgium.
Same-sex marriage in Sweden has been legal since 1 May 2009, following the adoption of a new, genderneutral law on marriage by the Swedish parliament on 1 April 2009, making Sweden the seventh country in the
world to open marriage to same sex couples nationwide. Marriage replaced Sweden's registered partnerships
for same-sex couples. Existing registered partnerships between same-sex couples remained in force with an
option to convert them into marriages.
United States
Laws regarding same-sex partnerships in the United States
- Same-sex marriage1
- Unions granting rights similar to marriage1,2
- Legislation granting limited/enumerated rights1
- Same-sex marriages performed elsewhere recognized1
- No specific prohibition or recognition of same-sex marriages or unions
- State statute bans same-sex marriage
- State constitution bans same-sex marriage2
- State constitution bans same-sex marriage and some or all other kinds of same-sex unions
A rally at a Unitarian church advocating marriage equality in the state of New Jersey. The blue banner reads
"Say 'I Do' to Marriage Equality".
Although same-sex marriages are not recognized federally in the United States, same-sex couples can legally
marry in nine states (Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New
York, Vermont, Maine, Maryland, Washington) and the District of Columbia and receive state-level
benefits.[118][119] The states of New Jersey and Rhode Island do not grant same-sex marriages, but recognize

same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, as does California in some cases, particularly those
established when the state briefly allowed same-sex marriage in 2008. Also, several states offer civil unions or
domestic partnerships, granting all or part of the state-level rights and responsibilities of marriage.Thirty-one
states have constitutional restrictions limiting marriage to one man and one woman.
The U.S. Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996, defining marriage for the first time
solely as a union between a man and a woman for all federal purposes, and allowing states to refuse to
recognize such marriages created in other states. Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning (2005), holding that
prohibiting recognition of same-sex relationships violated the Constitution, was overturned on appeal by
the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2006, which ruled that "laws limiting the state-recognized
institution of marriage to heterosexual couples ... do not violate the Constitution of the United States."
TheWashington Supreme Court, also in 2006, concluded that encouraging procreation within the framework of
marriage can be seen as a legitimate government interest furthered by limiting marriage to between oppositesex couples.
In 2010, the U.S. District Court for Northern California ruled in Perry v. Schwarzenegger that evidence did not
show any historical purpose for excluding same-sex couples from marriage, as states have never required
spouses to have an ability or willingness to procreate in order to marry. Since then, eight federal courts have
found that DOMA violates the U.S. Constitution in issues including bankruptcy, public employee
benefits, estate taxes, and immigration. Striking down Section 3 of DOMA inWindsor v. United States (2012),
the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals became the first court[128] to hold sexual orientation to be aquasi-suspect
classification, and determined that laws that classify people on such basis should be subject to intermediate
scrutiny.[129] Currently, four other cases, including Windsor, are awaiting a response for review in the U.S.
Supreme Court.[130]
President Barack Obama announced on 9 May 2012 that he supports same-sex marriage.[131][132] Obama also
supports the fullrepeal of DOMA, and called the state constitutional bans on same-sex marriage
in California (2008)[134] and North Carolina(2012) unnecessary. In 2011, the Obama Administration concluded
that DOMA was unconstitutional and directed the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) to stop defending the law in
court. Subsequently, Eric Cantor, Republican majority leader in theU.S. House of Representatives, announced
that the House would defend DOMA. The law firm hired to represent the House soon withdrew from
defending the law, requiring the House to retain replacement counsel. In the past two decades, public support
for same-sex marriage has steadily increased, and polls indicate that more than half of Americans support
same-sex marriage. Voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington approved same-sex marriage by referendum
on 6 November 2012.
In December 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will rule on the federal lawsuit that seeks to overturn
California's ban on same-sex marriage. This is because in August 2010, Proposition 8 was found
unconstitutional by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker. That ruling was appealed and later upheld by a federal
appeals court in February 2012. Proposition 8 proponents then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. As of now,
same-sex couples in California are still not allowed to legally marry until the Proposition 8 federal lawsuit is
Subject debated
Australia currently bans recognition of same-sex marriages, although as of 2011 the federal Labor
Party government officially changed its position to allow a conscience vote on same-sex marriage despite
Prime Minister Julia Gillard's opposition to such a vote.[139] The Liberal Party is opposed to same-sex
marriage, and its leader Tony Abbott said he will block a conscience vote on the issue.[140]
In February 2010, the Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young's Marriage Equality Bill was rejected by the
Senate.[141] Senator Hanson-Young re-introduced the bill to the Senate in September 2010. The bill will sit on a
notice paper until the major parties agree to a conscience vote on it. A Greens motion urging federal MPs to
gauge community support for same-sex marriage was passed by the House of Representatives on 18 November
The Australian Capital Territory is the first jurisdiction in Australia to legalise civil partnerships
ceremonies for same-sex couples. However, they are not recognised in Australian jurisdictions outside of that

territory. Registered partnerships are available in New South Wales, Tasmania, Queensland and Victoria. From
1 July 2009 Centrelink recognised same-sex couples equally regarding social security under the common-law
marriage, de facto status or unregistered cohabitation.[144]
In September 2010 Tasmania became the first Australian state to recognise same-sex marriages performed in
other jurisdictions, though only as de facto status.[145]
On 19 September 2012, a bill before the The Australian House of Representatives to legalize same-sex
marriage was defeated 42 to 98 votes.
The Marriage Law of the People's Republic of China explicitly defines marriage as the union between one man
and one woman. No other form of civil union is recognized. The attitude of the Chinese government towards
homosexuality is believed to be "three nos": "No approval; no disapproval; no promotion." The Ministry of
Health officially removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses in 2001.
Li Yinhe, a sociologist and sexologist well known in the Chinese gay community, has tried to legalize samesex marriage several times, including during the National People's Congress in 2000 and 2004 (Legalization
for Same-Sex Marriage in 2000 and the Same-Sex Marriage Bill
in 2004). According to Chinese law, 35 delegates' signatures are needed to make an issue a bill to be
discussed in the Congress. Her efforts failed due to lack of support from the delegates. A government
spokesperson, when asked about Li Yinhe's proposal, said that same-sex marriage was still too "ahead of time"
for China. He argued that same-sex marriage was not recognized even in many Western countries, which are
considered much more liberal in social issues than China. This statement is understood as an implication that
the government may consider recognition of same-sex marriage in the long run, but not in the near future.
On Tuesday 26 July 2011, The Constitutional Court of Colombia ordered the Colombian Congress to legislate
on the matter of same-sex marriage and that if they fail to, same-sex couples will be granted all marriage rights
in two years (on 20 June 2013) automatically.
Finland may legalize same-sex marriage after the 2011 parliamentary elections; Minister of Justice Tuija
Brax said her Ministry was preparing to amend the Marriage Act to allow same-sex marriage by 2012.[149]
In France in 2006, a 30-member non-quorum parliamentary commission of the French National
Assembly published a 453-page Report on the Family and the Rights of Children, which rejected same-sex
marriages. Also, the French National Assembly voted against same-sex marriage on 15 June 2011.
Following the election of Franois Hollande as President of France and the subsequent legislative election in
which the Socialist party took a majority of seats in the French National Assembly, the new Prime
Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault stated that a same-sex marriage bill would be passed and said that it had already
been drafted.
In June 2011, Germany faced a vote on same-sex marriage. The issue was opened by the senate of the citystate of Hamburg, and would be voted on in the Federal Bundesrat.
On June 28, 2012, a Green Party motion to allow parity for same-sex couples for tax purposes and adoption
was defeated in the Federal Diet of Germany.
Ireland made civil partnerships for same-sex couples legal in January 2011. Recent polling has revealed that
73% of the Irish public favour making constitutional provision for access to full civil marriage for same-sex
couples. The present Government of Ireland established a Constitutional Convention in December 2012 tasked
with considering wide-ranging changes to the Irish constitution. One of the issues the Convention will address
and make recommendations to the Government on is same-sex marriage. The Government has pledged to

respond publicly to recommendations arising from the Convention and will indicate a date for referendum
where it is considered necessary.
The current government of Luxembourg intends to legalize same-sex marriage.
In November 2008, Nepal's highest court issued final judgment on matters related to LGBT rights, which
included permitting same-sex couples to marry. Same-sex marriage and protection for sexual minorities were
to be included in the new Nepalese constitution required to be completed by 31 May 2012. However, the
legislature was unable to agree on the constitution before the deadline and was dissolved after the Supreme
Court ruled that the term could not be extended.
New Zealand
New Zealand's Marriage Act 1955 recognizes marriage rights only for opposite-sex couples. New Zealand's
Parliament rejected a bill that would have prohibited the recognition of same-sex marriage in New Zealand in
December 2005. The marriage laws consider transsexuals who have undergone reassignment surgery as having
changed sex for legal purposes, following Family Court and High Court of New Zealand decisions in 1995.
However the 2005 Civil Union Act allows same-sex and opposite sex couples to have a civil union which
under the law is identical to a marriage, with the exception that same-sex couples cannot jointly apply to adopt.
As of November 2012, a bill is before Parliament to legalise same sex marriage in New Zealand. The Marriage
(Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill passed its first reading in August 2012, with 80 votes in favor and
40 votes in opposition (there was one abstention), and is currently before Select Committee for consideration
and public submissions. The Committee is due to report back by 28 February 2013 on whether the bill should
continue and recommend any amendments to the bill.
In 2006, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo introduced legislation that prohibits same-sex marriages and
criminalizes anyone who "performs, witnesses, aids or abets" such ceremonies.]Among the Igbo people of
Nigeria, there are circumstances where a marriage between two women is allowed, such as when a woman has
no child and the husband dies.
The Taipei High Administrative Court has asked for advice from the country's Council of Grand Justices on
legally recognizing the marriage application of a gay couple.
In the process of rewriting the Turkish constitution, the opposition party BDP, called for the liberalization of
the marriage policies, which would include same sex marriage. The biggest opposition party in the Turkish
parliament, CHP, supported the idea. The largest party in the parliament, the AKP, is against same sex
marriage, although Premier Recep Tayyip Erdoan, the leader of the AKP, supported full equal rights for
LGBT citizens in 2002. Same sex marriage will soon be discussed again by members of the parliament, since
all political parties gather in committees to establish a new constitution.
United Kingdom
Since 2005 same-sex couples have been allowed to enter into civil partnerships, a separate union which
provides the legal consequences of marriage. In 2006 the High Court rejected a legal bid by a British lesbian
couple who had married in Canada to have their union recognised as a marriage in the UK and not as a civil
partnership. In September 2011, the Coalition government announced its intention to introduce same-sex civil
marriage by the next general election. In June 2012 the UK government completed a consultation to allow both
religious same-sex ceremonies and civil marriage for same-sex couples in England and Wales with the
intention of legalising same-sex marriage at some point by 2015.

The Scottish Government conducted a three month long consultation which ended on 9 December 2011 and
the analysis was published in July 2012. Unlike the consultation held in England and Wales, Scotland
considered both civil and religious same-sex marriage. Whilst the Scottish Government is in favour of samesex marriage, it stated that no religious body would be forced to hold such ceremonies once legislation is
enacted. The consultation received more than 77,000 responses, and in July the Scottish Cabinet announced
plans to introduce legislation to legalise both civil and religious same-sex marriage.
Uruguay's Chamber of Deputies passed a bill on December 12, 2012, to extend marriage rights to same-sex
couples. It is expected to be approved by the Senate in April 2013.
Vietnam's Ministry of Justice began seeking advice on legalizing same-sex marriage from other governmental
and non-governmental organizations in April and May 2012, and plans to further discuss the issue at the
National Assembly in Spring 2013.
International organizations
The terms of employment of the staff of international organizations (not commercial) in most cases are not
governed by the laws of the country where their offices are located. Agreements with the host country
safeguard these organizations' impartiality.
Despite their relative independence, few organizations recognize same-sex partnerships without condition. The
agencies of the United Nations recognize same-sex marriages if and only if the country of citizenship of the
employees in question recognizes the marriage.] In some cases, these organizations do offer a limited selection
of the benefits normally provided to opposite-sex married couples to de facto partners or domestic partners of
their staff, but even individuals who have entered into an opposite-sex civil union in their home country are not
guaranteed full recognition of this union in all organizations. However, the World Bank does recognize
domestic partners.