Special Report

Countries Where Same Sex Marriage Is Officially Legal

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6. Norway
> Date legalized: Jan 1, 2009

In 1993, same-sex couples in Norway were granted the right to civil unions. Fifteen years later, the government replaced this ruling with a new law allowing same-sex couples to marry, adopt children, and undergo state-funded artificial insemination. The law went into effect the first day of 2009. In 2017, the Lutheran Church of Norway, to which nearly three quarters of Norwegians belong, adopted gender-neutral wording that would allow its pastors to conduct same-sex marriages.

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7. Sweden
> Date legalized: May 1, 2009

Same-sex couples in Sweden could register for civil unions as early as 1995, but in April 2009 the Swedish Parliament voted to legalize same-sex marriage in both religious and civil ceremonies. Though the law does not require churches to officiate, the Lutheran Church of Sweden voted in October 2009 to allow its clergy to conduct same-sex marriages. Adoption rights had already been granted to same-sex couples in 2003, as well as artificial insemination rights in 2005.

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8. Portugal
> Date legalized: June 5, 2010

The Portuguese Parliament passed a law allowing same-sex marriage in early 2010. After review by the Constitutional Court, the law was signed in May and went into effect in June 2010. The law did not grant adoption rights to same-sex couples, however, and it wasn’t until 2015 — after four rounds of parliamentary votes — that a law allowing adoption was passed. The law also improved access to artificial insemination.

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9. Iceland
> Date legalized: June 27, 2010

The vote to apply gender-neutral language to Iceland’s definition of marriage passed unanimously in Parliament in June 2010. The country’s Prime Minister at the time, Social Democrat Johanna Sigurdardottir, was the first openly gay head of state in the world, and soon after the bill passed she married her long-time partner in one of the first same-sex marriages in Iceland.

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10. Argentina
> Date legalized: July 22, 2010

After hours of debate, Argentina’s Senate narrowly passed a bill granting same-sex couples the right to marry, making it the first country in Latin America to do so. The bill also granted the right to adopt children. The Catholic and evangelical Protestant churches vehemently protested the bill.

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