Special Report

Countries Where Same Sex Marriage Is Officially Legal

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21. Ireland
> Date legalized: Nov 16, 2015

After 62% of Irish voters (1.2 million people) voted in favor of updating the definition of marriage to include gender-neutral terminology, Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage through a popular vote.

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22. Colombia
> Date legalized: April 28, 2016

In a court ruling stating that marriages by people of the same sex don’t violate the constitution, Colombia legalized same-sex marriage in April 2016. Previous court appeals against equal rights had led to legal grey areas and officials refusing to register same-sex marriages, but on April 7, when the constitutional court dismissed a petition against equal rights, the precedent was set.

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23. Finland
> Date legalized: Mar 1, 2017

Finland’s bill to legalize same-sex marriage, which was approved by Parliament in 2014, started out as a public petition with over 160,000 signatures. Finland’s president signed the bill in 2015 but it didn’t go into effect until March 2017, making Finland the last of the Nordic countries to legalize.

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24. Malta
> Date legalized: Sep 1, 2017

Malta, a small Catholic nation that was the first country in Europe to ban gay conversion therapy, legalized same-sex marriage in 2017. With the adoption of gender-neutral terminology in amendments to the country’s Marriage Act, Malta also granted adoption rights to same-sex couples.

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25. Germany
> Date legalized: Oct 1, 2017

A few days after German Chancellor Angela Merkel rescinded her opposition to a vote on legalizing same-sex marriage, a majority vote passed legislation that did just that. Though Merkel still publicly opposed same-sex marriage, a study by Germany’s anti-discrimination agency determined that 83% of Germans were in favor of legalizing.

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