Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tracking the Legality of Same-Sex Marriage Around the World

Click map for larger image

I came across the world map posted above on World Focus. The map tracks both the countries in which same sex marriage is legal and also the countries in which homosexuality is still criminalized, in some case resulting in the death penalty. I find it interesting that a larger portion of South America in terms of territory provides some type of same sex relationship rights than in the USA - the supposed land of the free and home of religious freedom. It is likewise interesting that the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches are experiencing the most growth in the most anti-gay nations of the world outside of the Middle East. Here's World Focus' commentary (NOTE: the map and commentary does not appear to include Mexico City where same sex marriage just became legal):
This week, two men in Argentina became the first same-sex married couple in Latin America. The gay rights activists from Buenos Aires were married in Ushuaia, the capital of Tierra del Fuego state. Argentina’s constitution does not define marriage as strictly between a man and a woman, allowing local officials some flexibility. A bill to legalize gay marriage nationwide is now stalled in Argentina’s Congress.
seven countries in the world permit gay marriage to be performed, although recognition of civil unions exists in some nations. Gay couples still face persecution — and even the death penalty — in many countries.
The Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Spain, Norway, Sweden and South Africa recognize same-sex marriage. In the United States, there are four states (Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts and Vermont) where gay couples can currently marry. In 2010, Washington D.C. and New Hampshire will start allowing same-sex marriage.
Civil unions or registered partnerships offer same-sex couples some of the legal benefits of marriage. Nonetheless, many couples find these insufficient and believe that they are entitled to gender-neutral marriage.

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