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lip top 10: countries where same-sex marriage is legal

Even if it’s short lived, I’m pretty chuffed that the ACT has legalised same-sex marriage. My celebratory mood has inspired this column, and a conversation I was having a couple of days ago, where a friend and I were trying to name all the countries it was legalised in. We couldn’t even come up with half a dozen, so I did some research and now I bring you a few of the countries we missed, and certainly would not have even guessed.

1. Argentina
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Argentina since July 2010. Argentina is also the home to the first person to have two fathers listed on his birth certificate, which is pretty cool.

2. Brazil
Brazil is new to the party, having only legalised same-sex marriage in May this year. They have, however, allowed unions since 2004. At the moment, there is a recommendation before a constitutional committee that could allow the church to deny the marriages.

3. Iceland
When same-sex marriage was legalised in Iceland in 2010 it was voted through unanimously, which I think is a little bit lovely. What’s also a little bit lovely was that partnerships could be registered way back when in 1996. I know, I know, it should have been earlier, but it’s very good compared to everywhere else.

4. Mexico
When I think of Mexico I tend to think of drugs and undrinkable water (that’s still a thing, right?). It’s probably my own fault for being so ignorant, but finding out that Mexico was for same-sex marriage genuinely took me by surprise. Well, I say for, but that’s a little misleading. Marriage is legislated on a state level in Mexico; two states perform marriages, two perform civil unions, and the other 27 recognise all of the above.

5. Norway
Norway was the second country, after Denmark, to allow same-sex partnerships (not marriage) in 1993. Marriage came about in 2009. Having said that, Norway didn’t create an exclusive same-sex marriage law, rather, they made marriage gender neutral.

6. Portugal
I think if a country where four out of five of its residents identify as Catholic can pass a law legalising same-sex marriage, then Australia, where only a quarter of the population identify as Catholic, could probably manage it too. Just sayin’.

7. South Africa
I wouldn’t say that it’s uncommon knowledge about South Africa, but I just wanted to mention that there was only 16 years between the official abolition of Apartheid and the legalisation of same-sex marriage, yet we’re knocking around 40 years since white Australia officially stopped forcibly removing Aboriginal children from their parents, and there’s no nation wide legalisation of same-sex marriage in sight. Hmm.

8. Spain
Spain legalised same-sex marriage in 2005, but when an opponent to same-sex marriage was elected President in 2011 he tried to repeal the law. He lost. Love it.

9. Sweden
Sweden legalised same-sex marriage in 2009, but have recently found themselves unintentionally caught up in the issue that is Russia being homophobic arseholes. Russia has banned Swedes from adopting kids born in Russia, lest the children fall into the hands of gay parents. They’re in the process of sorting out an agreement that will ensure international adoptions only take place with heterosexual parents.

10. Uruguay
The reason I probably didn’t know same-sex marriage was legal in Uruguay is because it only happened in August of this year. The bill passed through the Chamber of Deputies with 71 votes to 21. I love a massive margin like that – none of this 9-8 bullshit in the ACT.

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