Obama’s comments in support of legalizing gay marriage may have created a small firestorm of political and cultural reactions in the United States on Wednesday, but same-sex unions have been legal for more than a decade in some nations.
There are 10 countries in which gay marriage is legal. The Parliament of The Netherlands, which passed a bill legalizing same sex marriage by a 3-to-1 margin in 2001, was the first national government body to pass national legislation. Since then, another nine countries have followed suit. As well, legislation is pending in some eight nations, including Finland and Australia, and civil unions or some form of gay parnerships are legal in more than 20 countries. See which countries are more proactive than the U.S.
The NetherlandsYear Legalized: 2001
BelgiumYear Legalized: 2003
SpainYear Legalized: 2005
CanadaYear Legalized: 2005
South AfricaYear Legalized: 2006
NorwayYear Legalized: 2009
SwedenYear Legalized: 2009
PortugalYear Legalized: 2010
IcelandYear Legalized: 2010
ArgentinaYear Legalized: 2010