FACTBOX-Gay marriage rights around the world

by Sonia Elks | @SoniaElks | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Tuesday, 11 February 2020 01:00 GMT

ARCHIVE PHOTO: People march for marriage equality of same-sex couples in Sydney, Australia, September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Steven Saphore

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As Sharni Edwards and Robyn Peoples make history as the first same-sex couple to marry in Northern Ireland, here are key facts about gay marriage around the world

By Sonia Elks

LONDON, Feb 11 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Two lesbian women will on Tuesday become the first gay couple to marry in Northern Ireland after the province became the last part of the United Kingdom to introduce equal marriage rights.

As Sharni Edwards and Robyn Peoples make history, here are the key facts about same-sex marriage around the world.

* The first country to legalise same-sex marriage was the Netherlands in 2001.

* Same-sex marriage is legal in 27 United Nations member states: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay, and the United States.

* A total of 31 U.N. states recognise some form of civil partnership for same-sex couples.

* Ecuador, Taiwan and Austria all legalised gay marriage in 2019.

* Taiwan was the first place in Asia where gay marriages were allowed. Drives for that right to be granted in China and Japan have faced stiff opposition.

* In Africa, where homosexuality is a crime in many countries and can lead to imprisonment or the death penalty, South Africa alone allows for same-sex marriage.

* Gay marriage is hotly contested among many religious groups. Leaders of the United Methodist Church announced proposals to split the church into two amid deep disputes over the issue.

* Almost one in three adults globally believe people of the same sex should be allowed to marry, a survey of almost 100,000 people in 65 countries showed in 2016.

Sources: ILGA State-Sponsored Homophobia report, Pew Research Centre, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Reuters. (Reporting by Sonia Elks @soniaelks; Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)

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