Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

Same-Sex Marriage Around the World

A world map showing that same-sex marriage is legal in more than 30 places around the world.

Since the first same-sex marriages were legally recognized in the Netherlands in 2001, more than 30 other jurisdictions – mostly in Europe and the Americas – have enacted laws allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. More recently, Taiwan became the first place in Asia to allow same-sex marriages.

Use the interactive table below to sort the places allowing same-sex marriages by name, region and the year legal same-sex marriage took effect. The table also includes some key facts about the process in each jurisdiction.

Andorra2023EuropeParliament in the small mountainous country between France and Spain voted to legalize same-sex marriage.
Argentina 2010Latin America-CaribbeanFirst country in Latin America to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.
Australia 2017Asia-PacificVoters supported legalizing same-sex marriage 62% to 38% in a nonbinding nationwide referendum.
Austria 2019EuropeA court ruling in 2017 eventually led to the change.
Belgium 2003EuropeSecond country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage after its neighbor, the Netherlands.
Brazil 2013Latin America-CaribbeanAbout half of Brazil’s 27 jurisdictions had allowed same-sex marriage until a court ruling made it legal nationwide.
Canada 2005North AmericaSame-sex marriage was legal in a majority of Canada’s provinces before Parliament passed national legislation.
Chile 2022Latin America-CaribbeanSixth South American country to legalize same-sex marriage.
Colombia 2016Latin America-CaribbeanColombia’s Constitutional Court legalized same-sex marriage by a 6-3 vote.
Costa Rica 2020Latin America-CaribbeanFirst Central American country to legalize same-sex marriage.
Cuba 2022Latin America-CaribbeanLegalization of same-sex marriage was part of a broader referendum on family law that passed by a 67% to 33% vote.
Denmark 2012EuropeSame-sex marriage became legal through a separate process in Greenland, an autonomous territory of Denmark, in 2016.
Ecuador2019Latin America-CaribbeanA court ruling made Ecuador the fifth South American country to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed.
Estonia2024EuropeThe law amended 2016 legislation recognizing same-sex civil unions and made Estonia the first Baltic country to legalize same-sex marriage.
Finland2017EuropeThe law, passed by Parliament in 2014, started out as a “citizens’ initiative” – a public petition with nearly 167,000 signatures. It came into effect in 2017.
France2013EuropeThen-President François Hollande signed the law after an unsuccessful court challenge.
Germany2017EuropeLegislation passed after then-Chancellor Angela Merkel said members of her ruling Christian Democratic Union should vote their conscience even though the party formally opposed same-sex marriage.
Greece2024EuropeFirst majority-Orthodox Christian nation to legalize same-sex marriage.
Iceland2010EuropeAfter the law took effect, the country’s prime minister at the time, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, wed her longtime partner, Jónína Leósdóttir, becoming one of the first Icelanders to marry under the statute.
Ireland2015EuropeFirst country to legalize same-sex marriage through a popular referendum, with 62% of Irish voters in favor.
Luxembourg2015EuropeThe bill was championed by the country’s former prime minister, Xavier Bettel, who is openly gay.
Malta2017EuropeParliament voted almost unanimously to legalize same-sex marriage.
Mexico2022Latin America-CaribbeanSame-sex marriage eventually became legal nationally after the Supreme Court declared state bans unconstitutional in 2015.
Nepal2024Asia-PacificAn interim Supreme Court order led to Nepal’s first federally registered same-sex marriage in 2023. However, local officials reportedly weren’t consistent in following that order. In 2024, the federal government directed all local governments to register same-sex marriages. While gay and lesbian couples can marry, there is not yet a marriage equality law on the books.
Netherlands2001EuropeFirst country to legalize same-sex marriage after its Parliament passed the law in December 2000.
New Zealand2013Asia-PacificFirst country in the Asia-Pacific region to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed.
Norway2009EuropeThe law replaced a 1993 statute permitting civil unions.
Portugal2010EuropePortugal’s Parliament passed a measure allowing same-sex marriage, which was approved by the Constitutional Court.
Slovenia2022EuropeFirst country in formerly communist Eastern Europe to legalize same-sex marriage.
South Africa2006Sub-Saharan AfricaOnly African country where same-sex marriage is legal; several countries on the continent have passed laws in recent years that ban homosexuality.
Spain2005EuropeThird country globally to legalize same-sex marriage after a vote in its closely divided Parliament.
Sweden2009EuropeGay and lesbian couples in Sweden previously had been allowed to register for civil unions since 1995.
Switzerland2022EuropeNearly two-thirds of Swiss voters (64%) cast ballots in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in a 2021 referendum.
Taiwan2019Asia-PacificA court ruling prompted a change in the law that made Taiwan the first jurisdiction in Asia to permit gay and lesbian couples to wed.
United Kingdom2014EuropeLegal same-sex marriage took effect in Northern Ireland in 2020, six years after the change in England and Wales. Separate legislation was enacted in Scotland in 2014.
United States2015North AmericaThirty-six states and the District of Columbia had legalized same-sex marriage before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution guarantees it throughout the country.
Uruguay2013Latin America-CaribbeanSecond Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage, following Argentina.