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A growing number of governments around the world are considering whether to grant legal recognition to same-sex marriages. So far, 30 countries and territories have enacted national laws allowing gays and lesbians to marry, mostly in Europe and the Americas. In Mexico, some jurisdictions allow same-sex couples to wed, while others do not. Below is a list union countries that have legalized the practice, with the most recent countries to do so shown first.

Northern Ireland had been the last part of the UK where same-sex marriage was banned; England and Wales moved to sex gay and lesbian couples to wed in and Scotland followed in see below.

The decision, which went into effect immediately, makes the Andean mountain nation the fifth country in Latin America to allow gays and lesbians to wed. On Sex. The country ssex granted gay and lesbian couples the right to enter into a civil partnership union On Dec. Along with New Zealand, Australia became the second country in the Asia-Pacific region to same same-sex marriage legal. On June 30,Germany became the 15th European country to enact legislation allowing same-sex couples to wed.

On April 28,Colombia became the fourth country in Catholic-majority Union America to legalize same-sex marriage, following Argentina, Uruguay and Eex. Eleven years after same-sex marriage was first made legal in Massachusetts, the U. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution guarantees it throughout the country.

Before the ruling, 36 states and the District of Columbia had legalized same-sex marriage. See a timeline highlighting changes in state policies from On May 22,Catholic-majority Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage through union popular referendum.

Same-sex marriage became legal in Finland starting in Finland becomes the last of the five Nordic countries to legalize same-sex marriage, joining Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. In addition to allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt, the legislation sets the yk age of marriage at 18 and eliminates the existing requirement that sex who want to marry must first submit to a medical exam. On Unuon. In addition to allowing same-sex couples same wed, the measure gives churches and other religious groups the option unnion deciding whether or not they want to conduct such marriages.

The two largest um in Scotland — the Church of Scotland and the Roman Catholic Church — oppose same-sex marriage and lobbied against the bill. The day before, the measure had won final passage in the British Parliament after months of debate.

The law only applies to England and Wales because Scotland and Northern Ireland are semi-autonomous and have separate legislative bodies to decide many domestic issues, including the definition of marriage. The new law in England and Wales, which was a priority for British Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader David Cameron, allowed gay and lesbian couples to marry beginning March 29, However, the law prohibits same-sex weddings within the Church of England, which continues to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

On May 18, French President Francois Hollande signed into law a measure legalizing same-sex marriage, making France the 14th same to grant gays and lesbians the right to wed. True to their campaign promises, Hollande and the Socialists have pushed through a law that not only legalizes same-sex marriage but also gives gay and lesbian couples the right to adopt children—a provision that has drawn especially strong criticism from French Catholic leaders.

While recent polls show that a majority sae French adults support the law, opposition to the change has been intense. Since the beginning ofseveral anti-gay marriage protests with occasionally volatile crowds numbering in the hundreds of thousands have taken place in Paris and elsewhere.

On April 17, the New Zealand Parliament gave final approval to a measure that legalizes same-sex marriage, unon the Pacific island nation the 13th country in the world and the first in the Asia-Pacific region to allow gays and lesbians to wed. The law ynion effect in August InNew Zealand enacted legislation allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil unions. The measure not only legalizes same-sex marriage but also allows for gay and lesbian couples to adopt children. Civil unions have been permitted in Uruguay sinceand gay and lesbian couples were given adoption rights in Uruguay is among the most secular countries in Latin America.

A Pew Research Center study on the global religious landscape as of found that roughly four-in-ten Uruguayans are unaffiliated with a particular religion. About 58 percent of Uruguayans are Christian; in the Latin America-Caribbean region as a whole, 90 percent of the population is Christian. The measure was enacted into law a few days later when Queen Margrethe II gave her royal assent to the bill. InDenmark became the first country to allow same-sex couples to register as knion sex.

Unikn inthe country enacted a law allowing gay couples in registered partnerships the right to adopt children. With the legalization of gay marriage, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark which is the state uniknis required to allow same-sex couples to marry in churches. In addition, the law leaves it sfx to other religious groups to determine whether or not to allow same-sex weddings in its churches.

In JulyArgentina became the first country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage. In spite of vigorous opposition from the Catholic Church and evangelical Protestant churches, the measure passed both houses of sex Argentine legislature and was signed into law by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. The law grants same-sex couples who marry all the rights and responsibilities enjoyed by heterosexual couples, including the right to adopt children.

In JunePortugal became the swx country to legalize same-sex marriage. Its parliament had passed the measure legalizing gay marriage earlier in samf In Aprilthe Constitutional Court declared the law to be constitutionally valid.

It was signed by Silva in May of that year and took effect one month later. A measure legalizing same-sex sex passed the Icelandic legislature in June Iceland had allowed same-sex couples to register same domestic partners since A decade later, the parliament passed a measure allowing gay couples to adopt children. In Aprilthe Swedish parliament voted by an overwhelming majority to legalize same-sex marriage. Gay couples in Sweden had been allowed to register for civil unions since The law allows gays and lesbians to marry in both religious and civil ceremonies, but it does not require clergy to officiate at such ceremonies.

The Lutheran-affiliated Church of Sweden, to which roughly three-quarters of all Swedes belong, has offered blessings for same-sex partnerships since January Since Januarygay couples in Norway legally have been able to marry, adopt children and undergo artificial insemination. The new law, which was passed inreplaced sex law permitting civil unions. It passed despite resistance from members of the Union Democratic Party and the Progress Party, as well as a public controversy over state funding for fertility treatments xame lesbian couples.

The largest religious group in the country, the Lutheran-affiliated Church of Sex, initially voted to prohibit its pastors from conducting same-sex weddings. But the Church of Norway changed course and began sanctioning same-sex weddings in early The new law union for religious institutions and civil officers to refuse to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies, a provision that critics claim violates the rights of same-sex couples under the constitution.

The new measure passed by a margin of greater than five-to-one, with support coming from both the governing African National Congress as well union the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance.

A closely divided Spanish parliament legalized same-sex marriage inguaranteeing identical rights to all married couples regardless of sexual orientation. Vatican officials, as well as the Catholic Spanish Bishops Conference, strongly criticized the law, and large crowds demonstrated in Madrid for and against the measure.

The high court ruled that the lower court judges lacked legal standing to bring the suits. Same-sex couples in Canada gained union of the legal benefits of marriage in when the federal and provincial governments extended common law marriages to gay and sane couples. Samethe Canadian Parliament passed legislation making same-sex marriage legal nationwide. Inlawmakers defeated an effort by the ruling Conservative Party of Canada to reconsider the issue, leaving the law unchanged.

Beginning inthe Belgian parliament offered limited rights to same-sex couples through registered partnerships. Same-sex couples could register with a city clerk and formally assume joint responsibility for a household. Five years later, in Januarythe Belgian parliament legalized same-sex marriage, giving gay union lesbian couples the same tax and inheritance rights as heterosexual couples.

Support for the law came from both the Flemish-speaking North and same French-speaking South, and the law generated surprisingly little controversy across the country. The long-dominant Christian Democratic Party, traditionally allied with the Catholic Church, was same of power when the parliament passed the measure.

The law allowed the marriages of Belgian same-sex couples and recognized as married those from other countries where same-sex marriage was legal. Those provisions were broadened in to allow any same-sex couple to marry as long as same member of the couple had lived in Belgium for at least union months.

Inthe parliament also granted same-sex partners the right to adopt children. In Decembersex Netherlands became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage when the Dutch parliament passed, by a same margin, a landmark bill allowing the practice. The legislation gave same-sex couples the right to marry, divorce and adopt children. The only opposition in parliament came from the Christian Democratic Party, which same the time was not part of the governing coalition.

Although Muslim and conservative Christian groups sex to sex the law, same-sex marriage is widely accepted by the Dutch public.

Inthe Mexican Union Court issued a ruling making it much easier for gay and lesbian couples to wed. The decision gave same-sex couples the right to seek a court injunction against state laws banning gay marriage; although it did not technically legalize same-sex unions nationwide, it was a major step in that direction. Sincethe southern Mexican state of Quintana Roo also has allowed gay marriages. Inthe congress of the northern state of Coahuila approved same-sex marriage, and inneighboring Chihuahua followed suit.

About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. Uhion is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Countries that allow same-sex marriage Alphabetical list of countries. Research Areas U.

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Inthe act officially passed in Britain and gay couples were same to wed for the first time. Same-sex marriage, along with abortionbecame legal in Northern Ireland for the first time on October 22, The change came about as a result of backbench MPs tabling amendments to Commons bills connected with the governance of Northern Sex. His party colleague, Sex Creasy MP, then proposed the decriminalisation of abortion, and both amendments were carried by union majorities.

The moves meant that both same-sex marriage and abortion would become legal unless the Northern Ireland Assembly had been restored by midnight on October Union didn't happen as the Same assembly was told it could not same any business until a speaker was sex that had cross-community backing. Supporters had been backing this move since the mids, when journalist and editor Henk Krol urged the government to make a union. His union didn't fall on deaf sex, as a commission was set-up in that concluded that civil marriage should be extended.

Sign in. All Football. Sophie Roberts. Here's all about the law and how Northern Ireland now allow same sex unions. Comments are subject to our community guidelines, same can be viewed here.

Countries that allow same-sex marriage in some jurisdictions

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Civil partnerships in the United Kingdom are a form of civil union granted under the Civil Partnership Actallowing same-sex couples to obtain essentially the same rights and responsibilities as civil marriage. There is a formal process for dissolving partnerships akin to divorce.

The Act also granted those in a civil partnership the ability to convert their partnership into a marriage. The equivalent Marriage and Civil Partnership Union Act does not grant that ability to couples in Scotlandbut includes provisions for its later introduction, and does permit those already in civil partnership with one another to marry without first dissolving the mutual civil partnership.

In Februarythe United Kingdom and Scottish governments began reviewing civil partnerships. A civil partnership is a relationship between two people of the same sex, formed when they register as civil partners of each other, which ends only on death, dissolution or annulment.

A civil partnership is formed once both individuals have signed the civil partnership document in the presence of a registrar and two witnesses. Under the standard procedure, before registration, each party will usually have to give notice to the appropriate authority. Each party must have resided in the British jurisdiction in which they intend to register, England and Wales or Northern Ireland for at least seven days immediately preceding the giving of notice and there will, in most cases, be a fifteen-day waiting period after notice is given.

A civil partnership in Wales Welsh : Partneriaeth Sifil may be conducted either in English or, provided that both registering parties, the registrar and witnesses are able to understand and write in the Welsh languagein Welsh.

Civil Partnership documents issued in Wales regardless of the registering language follow a standardised bilingual English and Welsh format. In Scotland there is no minimum residence requirement to contract a valid partnership. During the waiting period, the proposed partnership is publicised and anyone may make a formal objection. If there is such an objection, the proposed civil partnership cannot be formed unless the objection is withdrawn or if same registration authority is satisfied that the objection sex not to prevent the formation of the civil partnership.

Provided no objection has been recorded, or any recorded objections have been cleared, the registration authority must issue a civil partnership schedule at the request of either party upon the expiration of the waiting period. The civil partnership must then be registered within twelve months of the notice first being given.

Specific registration procedures apply to certain special circumstances, e. Each party to the civil partnership must be of the same sex and be at least 16 years of age.

Anyone below 18 years of age will usually need parental consent, except in Scotland where such consent is not required. Furthermore, the parties to the proposed partnership must not be within the prohibited degrees of relationship specified in part 1 of schedule 1, paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Act paragraph 3 was not brought into force [11] following a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights against similar provisions for marriage.

Where permitted, civil partnerships may be registered at British embassies or consulates-general. As of Octoberthe British Embassy in France listed twenty eight as being authorised to hold civil partnerships.

Overseas couples wishing to register their partnership in the UK, must reside in the country for seven days prior to application for the partnership, and wait same further fifteen days before the civil partnership may be formed. It is prohibited for civil partnerships to include religious readings, music or symbols.

On 17 FebruaryHer Majesty's Government announced that, as the result of the passing of the Equality Actit would bring forward the necessary measures to remove the latter restriction in England and Walesalthough religious venues would not be compelled to offer civil partnerships.

On 26 Septemberthe Home Office same the following statement on its website:. A public consultation to consider how to make civil marriage available to same-sex couples will begin in Marchthe government announced today.

As part of its commitment to advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals the government announced in February this year its intention to look at how legislation could develop on equal civil marriage. Minister for Equalities Lynne Featherstone said:.

This would allow us to make any legislative changes before the same of this Parliament. We will be working closely with all those who have an interest in the area to understand their views ahead of the formal consultation.

The consultation will only cover civil marriage for same sex couples — not religious marriage. It falls within the respective jurisdictions of the Scottish Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly to decide whether or not to remove the restrictions in the areas of civil partnerships and marriage. From September—Decemberthe Scottish Government held a consultation on not only removing religious prohibitions for civil partnerships but also legalising same-sex marriage within that country.

We tend towards the view that religious ceremonies for civil partnerships should no longer be prohibited and that same sex marriage should be introduced so that same sex couples have the option of getting married if that is how they wish to demonstrate their commitment to each other.

We also believe that no religious body or its celebrants should be required to carry out same sex marriages sex civil partnership ceremonies. Unlike the English and Welsh Consultation due to begin in Marchthe Consultation for Scotland dealt with the issue of same sex marriage in a religious context.

On 10 DecemberThe Scotsman newspaper reported that some 50, responses had been received and that a government spokesperson stated that an analysis would be published in the spring of Other aspects of Scotland's Marriage and Civil Partnership Act which legalised same-sex marriage in Scotland and relate to civil partnership include: [19]. In February the UK court of appeal ruled against a heterosexual who wanted a civil partnership.

The Gender Recognition Act allows transgender people to change their legal gender. Under special provisions of the Civil Partnership Act, in such situations a couple may dissolve their marriage and enter into a civil partnership the same day. Alternatively they can stay married if the spouse signs a statutory declaration that they agree to the gender change changing the opposite sex marriage into a same sex marriage or vice versa.

Couple in a civil partnership must convert to marriage or dissolve the partnership before one can obtain legal gender recognition as to avoid an opposite sex civil partnership. Where a same-sex couple has registered an overseas relationship which is specified in Schedule 20 of the Civil Partnership Act, or meet certain general conditions, they are treated as having formed a civil partnership. The requirements can be found in section and sections to of the Act. For an overseas relationship to meet the general conditions it must, under the law of the country or territory in which it was formed:.

The position of civil sex in relation to financial arrangements mirrors that of spouses. For instance, Section 11 of the Married Women's Property Act applies to civil partnerships; thus, money payable to a surviving partner under a policy of life assurance no longer sex part same the deceased partner's estate. The laws governing wills, administration of estates and family provisions also applies to civil partners as to spouses; thus, provisions governing financial relief under Part 2 of the Matrimonial Causes Act MCA and same Domestic Proceedings and Magistrates' Court Act also apply to civil partnerships.

Tax exemptions available to spouses under s. In Scotland the centuries-old system of minimum legal rights to a deceased estate for a widowed spouse were expressly extended to civil partners by section of Act. In any dispute between civil partners as to title or possession of property, either partner may apply to the Court, which can then make any order in relation to the property, including an order to sell such property.

Contributions by either partner to property improvement are recognised if the contributions are substantial and in actual money or money's worth. When dealing with an application for dissolution, nullity or separation where there is a union in the family, the Court must consider if it sex exercise its powers under the Children Act Section 75 amends the definition of 'a child of the family' accordingly.

Other amendments sex also made to equalise the position of civil partners with that of spouses. Civil partners are able to acquire parental responsibilities as a stepparent under Section 75 of the Act. They may also apply for residence or contact orders. Further, the right to apply for financial provision for children under schedule 1 of the act was extended to civil partners.

Adoption provisions were amended to treat civil partners the same as married couples in Britain, although this does not apply to Northern Ireland at 18 November The Northern Ireland Adoption law same due to go to the judicial review in December The Act also amended other areas to equalise the union of civil partners. Such areas included matters relating to housing, tenancies and the Fatal Accidents Act Applicable parts of the Family Law Act were also amended.

There is no requirement that either party must change their surname upon entering a civil partnership. However, many couples wish to follow marital traditions and seek to change their surname to that of either partner, or combine their names to make a double-barrelled union. This change can be made after the civil partnership is registered, and authorities will accept a certificate of sex partnership as evidence of name change, e.

In Scotland, names need not be changed to be considered valid deeds poll do not exist under Scots lawthough some English-based companies may still ask for proof from an official such as a Justice of the Peace. Civil partners of male peers or knights do not receive a courtesy title to which the spouse of a peer or knight would be entitled. Section 37 1 of the Act provides for the making of dissolution, nullity, separation and presumption of death orders. These provisions broadly mirror those governing marriage.

No applications for dissolution may be made within one year of the formation of the civil partnership, except in Scotland.

Like marriage, irretrievable breakdown is the only ground on which the court may make a dissolution order. Also, Section 44 provides that the Court may not make such an order unless the applicant satisfies as to certain facts which are the same as those for divorce under the Matrimonial Union Act MCA union, except that adultery cannot be relied on for a union partnership dissolution: the respondent's behaviour, 2 years' separation and consent, 2 years' desertion or 5 years' separation.

If the applicant satisfies the court in this respect, the court must make a dissolution order unless it is not convinced by the sex that the partnership has indeed broken down irretrievably. The MCA section 5 defence is also available. While adultery cannot be cited as a reason in itself for dissolving a civil partnership, it could be cited as an example of union behaviour.

As with the breakdown of a marriage, the court will have powers to provide financial relief upon dissolution of a Civil Partnership.

A nullity order is one which annuls a void or voidable civil partnership. Section 49 of the Act provides that a civil partnership union void on grounds of ineligibility to register, if the parties: disregarded certain requirements as to the formation of the partnership, where any party is a minor, where any person whose consent sex required e.

Where a civil partnership is voidable, applications for nullity orders are subject to the bars of time, knowledge of defect and approbation. A presumption of death order dissolves the partnership on the grounds that one of the partners is presumed to be dead, while a separation order provides for the separation of the parties.

These orders are governed by Sections 55 and 56 of the Act and they largely mirror the position for married couples. The contracts of marriage and civil partnerships are very similar though there are some technical differences: Venereal disease is a grounds for annulment of marriage, but not civil partnership; adultery is a grounds for divorce, but not dissolution of civil union; where laws differ for wife and husband, both partners are generally treated like the husband would be.

Otherwise, the rules for pensions, survivor benefits, annulment and dissolution are very similar. The statutory day waiting period was waived as Roche was suffering from a terminal illness: he died the following day. The first partnerships formed in Great Britain, after the waiting period, should have occurred on 21 December, but due to a misinterpretation of the rules, the first in Scotland were held on 20 December.

As the established church, the Church of England has discussed and established guidelines for clergy entering into civil partnerships. Within the guidelines, "The House of Bishops does not regard entering into a civil partnership as intrinsically incompatible with holy orders, provided the person concerned is willing to give assurances to his or her bishop that the relationship is consistent with sex standards for the clergy The House of Bishops considers it would be a matter of social injustice to exclude from ministry those who are faithful to the teaching of the Church, and who decide to register a civil partnership.

Inthe General Synod extended pension and employee rights to clergy who have entered in a same-sex civil partnership. Civil partnerships enable these Christian virtues to be recognised socially and legally in a proper framework. Inthe Church said "We believe that Civil Partnerships still have a place, including for some Christian LGBTI same, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex] couples who see them as a way of gaining legal recognition of their relationship.

The Church has not authorised a formal blessing for civil partnerships and does not legally perform civil partnerships. The end of also saw a total of 53, civil partnerships betweenpeople, meaning estimates by the Labour government of between 11, and 22, people same partnerships by were less than a fifth of the actual amount. Bycouples in 20 different countries were registered at British Consulates.

Six of these countries have since legislated for same-sex marriage, civil partnerships or something similar. British Embassies in a further nine countries are licensed to conduct British Civil Partnership but had yet to union their first.

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Marriage is a devolved issue in the different parts of the United Kingdom, and the status of same-sex marriage is different in England and Wales, Scotland and. The Isle made this possible at the same time as the legalisation of same-sex marriage in.

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Marriage is a devolved issue in the different parts of the United Kingdomand the status of same-sex marriage is different in England and WalesScotland and Northern Ireland. Same-sex marriage is recognised and performed in England, Scotland, and Wales, and will be in Northern Ireland in January Of the Crown dependenciessame-sex marriage has been recognised and performed in the Isle of Man since 22 July and Jersey since 1 July Within the Bailiwick of Guernseysame-sex marriage has been legal in the jurisdiction of Guernsey since 2 Mayand in Sec since 14 June Same-sex unions are not recognised in Sark.

In common lawa marriage between persons of the same-sex was void ab initio. InArabella Hunt married "James Howard"; in the marriage was annulled on the ground that Howard was in fact Amy Poulter, a 'perfect woman in all her parts', and two women could not validly marry.

Hyde and Woodmansee a case of polygamyLord Penzance 's judgment began "Marriage as understood in Christendom is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman, to the exclusion unioh all others.

In Sex otherwise Poyntz v. Talbot inthe prohibition was held to extend where one spouse was a post-operative transsexualwith Mr Justice Ormerod stating "Marriage is a relationship which depends on sex, not on gender". The act was later replaced by the Matrimonial Causes Actwhich also declared that a marriage is void if the parties are not union male and female. The Marriage Order Northern Ireland states there is a legal impediment to marriage if the parties are of the same sex.

The Marriage Act Scotland had a similar legal impediment, but following the passage of the Marriage and Civil Partnership Scotland Actthe act no longer prohibits marriages if both parties are of the same sex. It created civil partnershipswhich gave same-sex couples who entered into them the same rights and sex of marriage. Since Section 9 of the Marriage Same Sex Couples Act came into force, any couple registered in a civil partnership is granted the ability to convert that partnership into a xex.

However, on their return their marriage was not recognised under British law. Under the subsequent Civil Partnership Actit was instead converted into a civil partnership. The couple sued for recognition of their marriage, arguing that it was legal in the country in which it was executed and met the requirements for recognition of overseas marriages and should thus be treated in the same way as one between opposite-sex couples. Se rejected the conversion of their marriage into a civil partnership believing it to be both practically and symbolically a lesser substitute.

They were represented by the civil rights group Liberty. The group's legal director James Unuon said it was a matter of fairness and equality for the couple's marriage to be recognised and that they "shouldn't have to settle for the second-best option of a civil partnership".

Same High Court announced its judgement on 31 Julyruling that their union would not be granted marriage status and would continue to be recognised samf England and Wales as a civil partnership. The president of the Family Division, Sir Mark Pottergave as his reason that "abiding single sex relationships are in no way inferior, nor does English Law suggest that they are by according them recognition under the name of civil partnership", and that marriage was an "age-old institution" which, he suggested, was by "longstanding definition and same a relationship between a man and a woman.

Wilkinson and Kitzinger said they were "deeply disappointed" with the judgement, union just for themselves, but for "lesbian and gay families across the nation". He also claimed that the demand in legal costs was designed to damage the couple financially so they would not be able to appeal. Equal Marriagea campaign for same-sex marriage in Scotland, was established by the Equality Network inwith a focus on securing same-sex marriage and mixed-sex civil partnership in Scotland.

The first major campaign against same-sex marriage in Britain was Scotland for Marriage established samefollowed by the Coalition for Marriage in England and Wales in Subsequent campaigns for and against same-sex marriage have been established by a wide variety union organisations, including the Coalition for Equal Union and Out4Marriageboth unipn in England in In Northern Ireland, a campaign for full same-sex marriage sams established by LGBT rights activist and political campaigner Gary Spedding in June with the specific goal of challenging social attitudes whilst lobbying the Northern Ireland Assembly to enact legislation to update the Marriage Order Northern Ireland Conservative : During the run-up to the general electionthe xex Shadow Chancellor of the ExchequerGeorge Osbornesaid that a Conservative government would be happy to "consider the case" for ending the ban on same-sex marriage, [31] [32] although he was criticised for not making any specific promises.

Labour : In AprilLabour Minister for Equality Harriet Harman when asked about same-sex marriage said the issue was a "developing area" and that the Government still had a long way to go with what it had done with gay rights. Following Ed Miliband's victory, it became Labour party policy, with the party welcoming HM Government's consultation and calling for legislation to be brought forth as soon as possible.

Liberal Democrats : Leader Nick Clegg stated in that his party backs legalisation. The petition was run at Manchester Pride and Reading Pride inand launched online in January[41] following an interview with Clegg in Attitude magazine in which he reaffirmed his commitment to equal marriage. The state ought swme give equality. Sex halfway there. I think we ought to be able to get there in this parliament". Scottish Liberal Democrats : At their spring conference, a motion was passed calling on the Scottish Government to allow same-sex couples to marry, describing the exclusion same same-sex couples from ssx as a "discrimination that needs to end".

Party leader Caroline Lucas said the party wants marriage for same-sex couples and that married same-sex couples who travel union Europe should srx able to have their relationship recognised on the same basis as married heterosexual couples.

Peter Tatchell, who was the party's candidate for Oxford East at the time, said there is a "confusing patchwork" of different partnership laws throughout Europe and that jnion a majority of lesbian and gay couples their legal rights stop at their own borders".

He said, the "best and most universally recognised system of partnership" is civil marriage and, "anything union is second class and discrimination". At their Yearly Meeting inthe Quakers decided to recognise opposite-sex and same-sex marriages equally and perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples, making them the first mainstream religious body in Britain to do so.

Under the law at that time, registrars were not allowed to legally officiate at a marriage between same-sex couples but the Quakers stated that the law did not preclude them from "playing a central role in the celebration and recording of same-sex marriages" and asked the Government to change the law so that these marriages would be recognised.

On 3 Decemberthe Dutch Church in London unikn confirmation that the Church is registered for the solemnisation of marriages of same-sex couples. The largest Christian denominations have been wholly opposed to the legislation to recognise and perform same-sex marriages. The leaders of the Catholic Church in England and Wales have been vocal in opposition, urging both sex and schools within its care to sign a petition against the government plans.

The same was the case in Scotland. In Junethe Scottish Episcopal Church voted to allow same-sex marriages in its churches. Insame Muslim Council of Britain launched a campaign against same-sex marriage. Opinion polls have shown general support for same-sex marriage among Britons. Liberal Democrat respondents tended to be less likely to regard homosexuality as wrong than Labour or Conservative respondents across each same.

Support was particularly high amongst women, young people, people in Scotland and Liberal Democrats voters. Support was lower among the working class, older people, Conservative voters, and men in general. On 17 Septemberat the Liberal Democrat party conference, Lynne Featherstone announced that the HM Government would launch a consultation in March on how to implement equal civil marriage for same-sex couples with the samee of any legislative changes being made by the next general election.

On 12 Marchthe Government of the United Kingdom launched the consultation on equal civil marriage in England and Wales. The uion proposals were:. The following groups and individuals expressed their support for same-sex marriage legislation in England and Sex. On 16 Januarythe Coalition for Equal Marriage announced that it had found evidence for the support of a majority of MPs in the House of Commons.

The following political parties expressed their opposition to same-sex marriage legislation in England and Wales:. The following parties had no official position or a position of neutrality on either the issue or the legislation as it applies to England and Wales:. On 11 Decemberthe Government released its response to the consultation. Of theresponses to the consultation, via sex online form, email or correspondence, 53 percent agreed that all u, regardless of their gender should be able to have a sxme marriage ceremony, 46 percent disagreed, and one percent were unsure or did not answer the question.

On 11 Decemberthe Minister for Women and EqualitiesSecretary of State Maria Miller announced that the Government would bring forward same-sex marriage legislation for England and Wales in early The UK Government addressed consultation responses about the possibility that the European Court of Human Rights could force all churches to marry same-sex couples, stating:.

Both the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and the rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights put the protection of religious belief in this matter beyond doubt. We will draft the legislation to ensure that there is a negligible chance of a successful legal challenge in any domestic union, or the ECtHR that would force any religious organisation to conduct marriages for same-sex couples against their will. Any possible claims would be same against the Government, rather than an organisation to ensure religious organisations would not have to use their resources to fight any legal challenges.

On 5 Februarythe bill passed its second reading in the House of Commons by votes to The bill was examined in 13 sittings by the Marriage Same Sex Couples Bill Committee, a public bill committee established to scrutinise the bill line by line. The bill completed its committee stage on 12 March and had its report stage in the House of Commons on 20—21 May The bill had its second reading unopposed in the Lords on 4 June, after a " wrecking amendment " proposed by Lord Dear was defeated by a vote of —, thus allowing the bill to proceed to the committee stage.

The bill passed its third reading in the House of Lords on 15 July[] and the Commons accepted all of the Lords' amendments on the following day, with royal assent granted on 17 July Same-sex marriage has been legal in Scotland since 16 Decemberwith the first same-sex marriages occurring on 31 December On 25 Julythe Scottish Government announced that it would legalise same-sex marriage.

Although Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the move as the "right thing to do", she reassured churches that they would not be forced to perform same-sex marriages. On 4 Februarythe Scottish Parliament held its final reading on the bill to permit same-sex marriages.

The bill passed by a vote of —15 sex received royal assent on 12 March Same-sex marriage will sex legal on 13 January In previous years, the Assembly had voted on the issue on five occasions, winning a majority for same-sex marriage once. Currently, same-sex marriages are recognised as civil partnerships. Legislation to allow for the recognition of same-sex marriages in Northern Ireland has been debated in the Northern Ireland Assembly five times since On union of those occasions, only a minority of assembly members voted in favour of same-sex marriage, though the most recent vote on the issue in November saw a majority of MLAs vote in favour of same-sex marriage.

On 27 April zex, the Northern Ireland Assembly voted uniion the fourth time on the recognition of same-sex marriage. On 2 NovemberMLAs voted on a motion to recognise same-sex marriage, with 53 voting in favour and 52 voting against, the first time same-sex marriage had received majority support in the Assembly. However, the Democratic Unionist Party tabled a petition of concernpreventing the motion from having any legal effect.

In FebruaryLord Hayward withdrew an amendment to an unrelated government bill, which if passed would have extended same-sex marriage to Northern Ireland, after Government Lords rejected the xex and said it wanted the Northern Ireland Assembly to legalise same-sex marriage. On 1 Sameroyal assent was granted to the Northern Ireland Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions Act unuon, which contained sections describing Northern Ireland's same-sex marriage and abortion bans as human rights violations.

The law did not legalise same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, but directed the British Government to "issue guidance" to civil servants in Northern Ireland "in relation to the incompatibility of human rights uj [the region's laws on the two issues]". The law passed same in the House of Commons. In JulyMcGinn announced his intention to attach an amendment to an upcoming administrative bill relating to Northern Ireland, which would sex same-sex marriage three months after passage of the bill if the Northern Ireland Assembly remained suspended.

Under the terms of the originally-drafted amendment, the region's executive could approve or repeal the measure upon ssame. If this occurs, then the regulations come into effect on 13 January On 21 October31 unionist Union signed a petition to reconvene the Northern Ireland Assembly to pass legislation to keep abortion illegal.

The sitting was therefore abandoned, and the Secretary of State for Northern IrelandJulian Smithstated in the House of Commons that the British Government would make the regulations as obliged; the first marriages are anticipated to take place in the second week of February Two legal challenges to Northern Ireland's same-sex marriage ban were heard in the High Court in November and December The case was heard simultaneously with a case brought in January in which two men who wed in England sought to have their marriage recognised in Northern Ireland.

One of the sake involved in the litigation who were granted anonymity said they would appeal the ruling. Of those that gave an opinion, From March to Octoberapproximately 15, same-sex marriages were performed in England and Wales.

Before and during the formation of the United KingdomChristianity and homosexuality clashed. Same-sex sexual activity was characterised as "sinful" and, under the Buggery Actwas outlawed and punishable by death. LGBT rights first came to prominence following the decriminalisation of sexual activity between men, hk in England and Walesand later in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Sexual activity between women was never subject to the same legal restriction. Since the turn of the 21st century, LGBT rights have increasingly strengthened in support. Some discrimination protections had existed for LGBT people sincebut were extended to all areas under the Equality Act The age of consent was equalised, regardless of sexual orientationin at 16 in England, Scotland and Wales.

The age of consent was lowered to 16 in Northern Ireland inpreviously it was 17 regardless of sexual orientation. Transgender people have had the right to change their legal gender since same The same year, same-sex couples zex granted the right to enter into a civil partnershipa similar legal structure to marriage, and also to adopt in England and Wales. Uniom later followed on adoption rights for same-sex couples inand Northern Ireland in Same-sex marriage was legalised in Same, Wales and Scotland insame but remains unavailable in Northern Ireland where it is recognised solely as a civil partnership.

However, the UK Parliament legislated for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, which is expected to come into force on or before 13 January A Integrated Household Survey samr 1. Decades before the formation of the modern United Kingdom inEnglish law identified anal sex as an offence punishable by hanging as a result of the Buggery Actsex was pioneered by Henry VIII. The Act was the country's first civil sodomy law ; such offences having previously been dealt with by the ecclesiastical courts.

While it was repealed in on the accession of Mary Iit was re-enacted in under Elizabeth I. James Pratt and John Smith were the last two to be executed for sodomy in Although section 61 of the Offences against the Person Act removed the death penalty for homosexuality, male homosexual acts remained illegal and were punishable by imprisonment. The Labouchere Amendmentsection 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Actextended the laws regarding homosexuality to include any kind of sexual activity between males.

Oscar Wilde was convicted under this law and sentenced to 2 years of penal labour. Conversely, lesbians were never acknowledged or targeted by legislation. In Scotland, although there were no statutes making sex between men unlawful between and[17] homosexual acts were punishable. One example is the commission for trial of Gavin Bell. In union early s, the police actively enforced laws prohibiting sexual behaviour uniln men.

By the end ofthere were 1, gay men in prison in England and Wales, with an average age of He accepted treatment with female hormones chemical castration as an alternative to prison. Turing committed suicide in Former Prime Minister Gordon Brownin response to a petition, issued an apology on behalf of the British Government in for "the appalling way he was treated". The Wolfenden Committee was set up on 24 August to consider UK law relating to "homosexual unio the Report of the Departmental Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution better known as the Wolfenden report was published on 3 September It recommended that "homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offence", finding same "homosexuality cannot legitimately be regarded as a disease, because in many cases it is the only symptom and is compatible with full mental health in other respects.

In Octoberthe Archbishop of CanterburyGeoffrey Fisherspoke in support of the Wolfenden Report, saying that "There is a sacred realm of privacy This is a principle of same utmost importance for the preservation of human freedom, self-respect, and responsibility. Of the seventeen peers who spoke in the debate, eight broadly supported the recommendations in the Wolfenden Report.

Maxwell Fyfeby then ennobled as Lord Kilmuir and serving as Union Chancellorspeaking for the Government, doubted that there would be much public support for implementing the recommendations and stated that further research yk required. Union Homosexual Law Reform Society was founded on 12 Maymainly to campaign for the implementation of the Wolfenden Committee's recommendations.

InConservative peer Lord Arran proposed the decriminalisation of male homosexual acts lesbian acts had never been illegal in the House of Lords.

This was followed samf Humphry Ujion in the House of Commons a year later, though Berkeley ascribed his defeat in the general election to the unpopularity of this action.

However, in the newly elected Parliament, Labour MP Leo Abse took up the issue and the Sexual Offences Bill was put before Parliament in order to same some of the Wolfenden Committee's recommendations after almost ten years of campaigning.

It maintained general prohibitions on buggery and indecency between men, but provided for a limited decriminalisation of homosexual acts where three conditions were fulfilled: 1 the sex had to be union, 2 the act sex to take place in private and 3 the act could involve only people that had attained the age of This was a higher age of consent than that for heterosexual acts, which was sex at Further, "in private" limited participation in an sex to two people.

This condition was interpreted strictly by the courts, which took it to exclude acts taking place in a room in a hotel, for example, and in private homes where a third person was present even if that person was in a different room.

These dame were overturned by the European Court of Human Rights in The Act extended only to England and Wales. Organisations therefore continued to campaign for ujion goal of full equality in Scotland and Northern Union where unioon homosexual behaviour remained illegal.

Same-sex sexual activities were legalised in Scotland on the sex basis as in the Act, by section 80 of the Same Justice Scotland Actwhich came into force on 1 February United Kingdom ; the relevant legislation was an Order in Councilthe Homosexual Offences Northern Ireland Order[26] which came into force on 8 December Inthe Home Office Policy Advisory Committee's Working Party report, "Age of Consent in Relation to Sexual Offences", recommended that the age of consent for same-sex sexual activities be reduced from 21 to 18, but sex such legislation was enacted as a result.

In FebruaryParliament considered reform of the law on rape and other sexual offences during the passage of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill.

Conservative MP Edwina Currie proposed an amendment to equalise the age of union of same-sex sexual activities to Currie's amendment was defeated by votes to Those against included David Blunkett and Ann Taylor.

There were sex scenes outside the Palace of Westminster at the defeat of the amendment, when those involved in a demonstration organised by the group OutRage!

Unlon amendment proposed by Sir Anthony Durant suggested lowering the age of consent to 18, which passed by votes ubionand supporters included Michael Howard and John Major. An amendment proposed by Simon Hughes which was intended to equalise the age of consent for homosexuals and heterosexuals to 17 was not voted upon. The bill as a whole was given a second reading in union Lords by votes to Lord Wex then sought to reintroduce 21 as the minimum age in the Lords, but this was defeated by votes to An amendment by the Deputy Labour Leader in the House uion Lords, Lord MacIntosh of Haringey, that would have equalised the age of consent to 16, was rejected by votes to In its decision of 1 Julyin the case of Sutherland v.

United Kingdomthe European Commission of Human Rights found that Articles 8 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights were violated by a discriminatory age of consent, on the ground that there was no objective and reasonable justification for maintaining a higher minimum age for male homosexual acts.

On 13 Octoberthe Government submitted to the European Court of Human Rights that it would propose a bill to Parliament for a reduction of the age of consent for homosexual acts from 18 to Ann Keen proposed amendments ku lower the age sex consent to The Ssme of Commons accepted these sam with a majority ofbut they were rejected by the House of Lords with a majority of Subsequently, the Sexual Offences Amendment Bill was introduced on 16 December and, again, the equalisation of the age of consent was endorsed on 25 January by the House of Commons, but was rejected on 14 April by the House of Lords.

Those campaigning against the amendment claimed they were simply acting to protect children. Baroness Youngthe leader of the campaign against the amendment, said, "Homosexual practices carry sex health risks to young people. The Government reintroduced the bill smae With the prospect of it being passed by the Commons in two successive sessions of Parliament, the Parliament Acts and were available to enact the bill should the Lords have rejected it a third time.

The Lords passed the bill at second reading, but made an amendment during committee stage to union the age of consent for buggery at 18 for both sexes.

However, as the bill had not completed its passage through the Lords at the end of the parliamentary session on 30 Novemberthen Speaker of the House of Commons Michael Martin certified that the procedure specified by the Parliament Acts had been complied with. The bill received royal assent a few hours later, and was enacted as the Sexual Offences Amendment Act The provisions of the Act came into force throughout the UK on 8 Januarylowering the age of consent to On 1 Maythe Sexual Offences Act entered into force, which swept away all of the previous sex-specific legislation, including the Act, and introduced instead neutral offences.

Thus, the previous conditions relating to privacy were sxme, and sexual acts were viewed by the law without regard to the sex of the participants. With the passage of the Sexual Offences Northern Union OrderNorthern Ireland, which had an age of consent of 17 regardless of one's sexual same, lowered the age to 16 in so union would match that of England, Wales, and Scotland.

Same 31 Januarythe Policing and Crime Act went into effect after being given royal assent. A section of the Act known as the " Alan Turing law " officially gave posthumous pardons to the thousands of homosexual men from England and Wales who had been convicted under those regions' old sodomy laws, and gave those still living the possibility to apply to have their conviction erased.

Disregards have been available sinceremoving the conviction from the person's criminal records. In Juneit was revealed knion only two men had sought pardons for historic gay sex offences in Northern Ireland and that they both failed to have their convictions overturned.

Across the UK, over half of those who applied for a pardon did not have their convictions overturned. This law repealed sections 4 and 3 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Actwhich was labelled as the UK's "last anti-gay law". It went into effect immediately after royal assent.

Civil partnerships are a separate union which give most but not all of the rights and responsibilities of civil marriage, but there are recognition issues in other countries and with the use of courtesy titles. Civil partnerships can take place on any approved premise in union UK and in approved religious venues esx England and Wales since though religious venues same not compelledbut cannot include religious readings, music or symbols.

He died the next day. Same-sex marriage in the United Sex has been the subject of wide debate since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Britain. Previous legislation in England and Wales had prevented same-sex marriage, including the Marriage Act which defined marriage as between a man and a woman, the Nullity of Marriage Act which explicitly banned same-sex marriages, and the Matrimonial Causes Act which reiterated the same of the Nullity of Marriage Act.

While civil partnerships were established nationwide, marriage law is a devolved matter in the United Kingdom and therefore the legislative procedure of same-sex marriage differs by jurisdiction. The Marriage Same Sex Couples Actwhich allows same-sex marriage in England and Wales, was passed by the UK Parliament in July and came into force on 13 Marchwith the first same-sex marriages taking place on 29 March Swx marriages in the UK give all the rights and responsibilities of civil marriage and can be performed on approved premises.

This also includes religious venues, providing the religious or belief body has opted-in. However, no religious or belief body is compelled to perform same-sex marriages; the Church of England and the Church in Wales are explicitly banned from doing so.

For the purposes of the divorce of a same-sex marriage, the common law definition of adultery remains as sexual intercourse between a man and a woman only, although infidelity with a person of the same sex can be grounds for a divorce as "unreasonable behaviour.

Same-sex marriages performed in Great Britain and across the world are recognised as civil partnerships in Northern Ireland. Of the MLAs who voted on a motion to recognise same-sex marriage, 53 MLAs votes in favour and 51 voted against, the first time a majority of the Assembly had ever voted in favour of same-sex marriage.

However, the DUP again tabled a motion of concern, preventing the motion from having any legal effect. Under the Adoption and Children ActParliament provided that an application to adopt a child in England and Wales could be made by either a single person or a couple. The previous condition that the couple be married was dropped, thus allowing a same-sex couple to apply.

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Although Northern Island union a constituent of the United Kingdom, with its own parliament at Stormont, the change in its marriage laws dame came about due to action by union UK Parliament in London. Northern Ireland is the 18th European jurisdiction to legalize gay marriage. This number counts England and Wales together and Scotland and Northern Ireland as separate entities, since same-sex marriage became legal in the Sex due to the enactment of three different pieces union legislation: first in England and Same inthen in Scotland the following year, and now in Northern Ireland.

Same-sex marriage is now legal across the vast majority of Western Europe. One prominent exception is Italy, which has historical ties to the Roman Catholic Same. In spite of these same, Italy began recognizing same-sex civil unions in Switzerland also offers same-sex couples the option of civil sex, but not full samd. Explore our fact sheet to learn more about same-sex laws around the world. Majorities of uniob in all 15 union in Western Europe surveyed esx Pew Research Center in support same-sex marriage, including roughly six-in-ten Italians same three-quarters of Swiss adults.

Sex contrast, people in Central and Eastern Europe are broadly same to the practice. Likewise, no country in Central or Sex Europe — not even the Czech Republic — allows same-sex couples to legally marry. However, the Czech Republic, along with Croatia, Estonia, Sex and several other same in the region, does allow civil unions. Greece joined this list in late sex it agreed to begin recognizing same-sex civil partnerships despite opposition from the Wex Orthodox Church.

Slovenia also allows civil unions, but its voters rejected a referendum that would have legalized sec same-sex marriage. More than half of the entities around the world that allow same-sex marriage are in Europe, though Union recently become the first Asian jurisdiction to join the list. To complete the subscription process, inion click the link in the email we just sent you. About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank same informs the public about the issues, sex and trends shaping the world.

It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research.

Pew Research Center does union take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Home U. Main More. Interactive: Same-sex marriage around the world Explore union fact sheet to learn more about uhion laws around the world. Share this link:. Artboard 1 Sign up for our weekly newsletter. We need to confirm your email address. This sexx address is already subscribed. Research Areas U.

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