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This article was first published 12 years ago

In PHOTOS: GAY marriage...its LEGAL in these nations

Last updated on: May 14, 2012 10:41 IST

Image: Scott Brown, dressed as a native American puts the ring on the finger of Dutch born Pilo Pilkes, dressed as Henry Hudson (left) after being married by Amsterdam's Mayor Job Cohen (centre) on an official wedding boat during the Gay Pride Canal Parade in Amsterdam
Photographs: Paul Vreeker/United Photos/Reuters

While a majority of Indians still struggle with the idea of same-sex relationships, some countries have had laws legalising lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender marriages for more than 10 years.

Other countries, such as the United Kingdom, Brazil and Denmark have offered protection in the form of civil unions. brings you 10 countries that have fully legalised gay marriages.

Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalise gay marriages, on April 1, 2001.



Image: Alex Cravotta (left), 24 and Michel Duponcelle, 39, both homosexual, leave the Schaerbeek townhall in Brussels after a ceremony when they exchanged cohabitation vows to be officialy recognised as a household
Photographs: Yves Herman/Reuters

Belgium was the second country to legalise gay marriage on January 30, 2003, with some restrictions. Originally, Belgium allowed the marriages of foreign same-sex couples only if their country of origin also allowed these unions.

Legislation enacted in October 2004 however, permits any couple to marry in Belgium if at least one of the spouses has lived in the country for a minimum of three months.


Tags: Belgium


Image: Gay rights activist and member of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party executive board Pedro Zerolo (left) flashes a victory sign outside Madrid's parliament
Photographs: Susana Vera/Reuters

Same-sex marriage in Spain has been legal since July 3, 2005. In 2004, the nation's newly elected social democratic government began a campaign for its legalization, including the right of adoption by same-sex couples.

Same-sex marriage became legal in Spain on July 3, 2005.


Tags: Spain


Image: A married couple hold hands in front of the Canadian Parliamentary building in Ottawa
Photographs: Jim Young JY/Reuters

On July 20, 2005, Canada became the fourth country to legalise same-sex marriage nationwide with the enactment of the Civil Marriage Act which provided a gender-neutral marriage definition.


Tags: Canada

South Africa

Image: Venash Mooriken (right) and Neil Millard drink a toast after taking their vows in the first cross-racial gay marriage of two HIV-positive men in South Africa
Photographs: Juda Ngwenya/Reuter

Same-sex marriage has been legal in South Africa since the Civil Union Act came into force on 30 November 2006.

The decision of the Constitutional Court in the case of Minister of Home Affairs v Fourie on 1 December 2005 extended the common-law definition of marriage to include same-sex spouses and gave parliament one year to rectify the inequality in the marriage statutes.



Image: A Norwegian and Danish lesbian couple is dressed up as brides during a march with tens of thousands of homosexuals from all over Europe in their Europride festive parade in Oslo
Photographs: Christine Grunnet/Reuters

Same-sex marriage became legal in Norway on January 1, 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 legalise same-sex marriage.


Tags: Norway


Image: Aleksander Mijatovic (left) and his partner Shantu Bhattacharjee exchange personal vows after they were married at a civil wedding ceremony onboard a Scandinavian Airlines flight from Stockholm to Newark
Photographs: Bob Strong/Reuters

Gay marriage in Sweden has been legal since 1 May 2009, following the adoption of a new, gender-neutral 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.


Tags: Sweden


Image: Teresa Paixao (left) and her partner Helena Pires kiss as they get married at a government's registry office in Lisbon
Photographs: Hugo Correia/Reuters

Gay marriage has been legal in Portugal since June 5, 2010. The government of Prime Minister Jose Socrates introduced a bill for legalisation in December 2009; it was passed by the assembly of the republic in February 2010.


The bill was declared legally valid by the Portuguese Constitutional Court in April 2010.




Image: Dufa Drofn Asbjornsdottir and Diana Dogg Hreinsdottir attend their wedding in Reykjavik
Photographs: Ingolfur Juliusson/Reuters

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Iceland since June 27, 2010. The bill providing a gender-neutral marriage definition was passed by the Icelandic Althing on June 11, 2010.

No members of parliament voted against the bill, and public opinion polls suggest that the bill is very popular in Iceland.


Tags: Iceland


Image: Alejandro Vanelli (left) and Ernesto Larrese exchange rings after getting married at a civil registry office in Buenos Aires
Photographs: Enrique Marcarian/Reuters

Same-sex marriage in Argentina has been legal since July 22, 2010.

Argentina became the first country in Latin America and the second in the Americas to allow same-sex marriage nationwide. It is the tenth country to allow same-sex marriage.

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