Countries Where Same Sex Marriage Is Legal

27/06/2015 9:37 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

America erupted in joyous celebrations on Friday after the Supreme Court in a pathbreaking decision ruled that it is now legal for all Americans, no matter what their sexual orientation is, to marry the people they love.

The decision is a historic victory for gay rights activists who have fought for years in the lower courts. Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia already recognize marriage equality. The remaining 13 states ban these unions, even as public support has reached record levels nationwide.

The court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution's guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law mean that states cannot ban same-sex marriages. With the landmark ruling, gay marriage becomes legal in all 50 states.

President Barack Obama, appearing in the White House Rose Garden, hailed the ruling as a milestone in American justice that arrived "like a thunderbolt."

Read: Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage Nationwide

"This ruling is a victory for America," said Obama, the first sitting president to support gay marriage. "This decision affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts. When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free."

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing on behalf of the court, said the hope of gay people intending to marry "is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right."

"Without the recognition, stability and predictability marriage offers, their children suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser," Kennedy wrote.

What are other countries where gay marriage is legal?

Nearly two dozen countries around the world have national laws supporting marriage equality. In Mexico, some jurisdictions allow same-sex couples to wed, while others do not, according to a January 2015 report of the Pew Research Center.

Here is a list:


United States - 2015

Ireland - 2015

Finland - 2015

Luxembourg - 2014

Scotland - 2014

England - 2013

Wales - 2013

(The law only applies to England and Wales because Scotland and Northern Ireland are semi-autonomous and have separate legislative bodies to decide domestic issues, according to Pew.)

Brazil - 2013

France - 2013

New Zealand - 2013

Uruguay - 2013

Denmark - 2012

Argentina - 2010

Portugal - 2010

Iceland - 2010

Sweden - 2009

Norway - 2009

South Africa - 2006

Spain - 2005

Canada - 2005

Belgium - 2003

The Netherlands - 2000

Countries Where Gay Marriage is Legal in Some Jurisdictions:

Mexico - 2009

Read the court's opinion here:

Obergefell v. Hodges

(With inputs from Reuters)

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