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Same-sex marriage has been legalized in in twenty-seven countries, including the United States, and civil unions are recognized in many Western democracies. Yet same-sex marriage remains banned in many countries, and the expansion of broader lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender LGBT rights has been uneven globally. International organizations, including the United Nations, have issued resolutions in support of LGBT rights, but human rights groups say these organizations have limited power to enforce these newly recognized rights.
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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, more than two dozen countries 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 of countries that have legalized the practice, with the most recent countries to do so shown first.
For many years, same-sex marriage has been a hot topic of endless debate. Supporters of same-sex marriage say that a relationship and subsequent marriage between two people of the same sex is natural and normal. These supporters believe that a person does not choose to be gay and is instead born this way.
Same-sex marriage in the United States expanded from one state in to all fifty states in through various state court rulings, state legislation, direct popular votes, and federal court rulings. Same-sex marriage is also referred to as gay marriagewhile the political status in which the marriages of same-sex couples and the marriages of opposite-sex couples are recognized as equal by the law is referred to as marriage equality. The fifty states each have separate marriage lawswhich must adhere to rulings by the Supreme Court of the United States that recognize marriage as a fundamental right that is guaranteed by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitutionas first established in the landmark civil rights case of Loving v.
In a landmark ruling issued inthe U. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution allows for same-sex marriage, effectively overturning remaining restrictions in place in states. Most other states had enacted constitutional or statutory bans on same-sex marriage, known as "Defense of Marriage" Acts.
This article summarizes the same-sex marriage laws of states and similar jurisdictions in the United States. Via the case Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26,the Supreme Court of the United States legalized same-sex marriage in a decision that applies nationwide, with the possible exception of American Samoa and some tribal nations.
Latest Development: The U. Supreme Court has ruled that states cannot ban same-sex marriage, thereby requiring all states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Background and History: State legislatures, voters and more recently the courts have made sweeping changes over the past two decades in laws defining whether marriage is limited to relationships between a man and a woman or is extended to same-sex couples.