This article was published on March 7th, 2012
Across the globe, there are ten countries that legally recognize same sex / gender neutral marriage. Here is a brief breakdown of the marriage laws:
- 2000: Netherlands was the first country in the world to recognize same-sex marriage, which came into effect on April 1, 2001.
- 2002: The Province of British Columbia legalized and granted the rights of same-sex marriage.
- 2003: Belgium was the second country to grant same-sex marriages
- 2005: Spain declares same-sex marriage rights. A weeks later, Canada’s Prime Minister and Liberal government officially recognize same-sex marriage across Canada.
- 2006: South Africa signs same-sex marriage into law.
- 2008: Norway approves a gender-neutral marriage law that came into effect on January 1, 2009.
- 2009: Sweeden adopted gender-neutral marriage laws.
- 2010: On June 10, same-sex marriage became legal in Portugal. A day later, on June 11, Iceland’s government approved same-sex marriage. Just weeks later, on July 15, Argentina follows suit, however, they do not have the support of the Catholic Church.
After a long, uphill battle with many court cases and levels of government involved, Canada has become a leader and influencer on the global stage for same sex marriage.
In early 2012, Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, openly declared same sex marriage will not be re-opened for discussion in the House, reassuring Canadians that the rights of the LGBT community are here to stay.