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Central American countries do not recognize same-sex couples, though some have limited antidiscrimination protections.Costa Rica’s constitutional court ruled that same-sex marriage must be legalized by mid-2020.
Two years later, the United Nations appointed its first-ever independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity.
“What is important here is the gradual building of consensus,” says Graeme Reid, director of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights program at Human Rights Watch.
Same-sex marriage has been legalized in the Netherlands (2001), Belgium (2003), Spain (2005), Norway (2009), Sweden (2009), Portugal (2010), Iceland (2010), Denmark (2012), France (2013), the United Kingdom (2013), Luxembourg (2015), Ireland (2015), Finland (2017), Malta (2017), Germany (2017), and Austria (2019).
Italy is the largest Western European country where same-sex marriage is not legal; its parliament, however, approved civil unions for same-sex couples in 2016.
In 2005 Canada became the first country in the Western Hemisphere to legalize same-sex marriage.
It was followed by Argentina in 2010, Brazil and Uruguay in 2013, Mexico in 2015, Colombia in 2016, and Ecuador in 2019.In a 2019 ruling, Brazil’s supreme court determined homophobia and transphobia to be crimes under a 1989 law outlawing racism.Support for same-sex marriage varies across the region.In 2013, Russia made it a crime to distribute “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships among minors.” More than a dozen people have been fined for violations, including participating in protests and sharing articles on social media.Human rights groups say the law is a tool for anti-LGBT discrimination, and Europe’s top human rights court ruled that it is illegal in June 2017; though the decision is binding, the court has few means to enforce it.While in 2015 Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage through popular referendum, lawmakers in Northern Ireland have defeated bills to legalize same-sex marriage five times.Croatians approved a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in a 2013 referendum, though the country’s parliament allowed civil partnerships a year later.“There’s an accumulation of moral pressure on member states to at least address the most overt forms of discrimination or violence.” Activists in the international arena have focused on antiviolence and antidiscrimination campaigns rather than same-sex marriage.“There’s no sensible diplomat who would think that pushing same-sex marriage on a country that’s not ready for it is a good idea,” says Dorf. territories, came amid dramatic shifts in public opinion: 67 percent of Americans polled in 2018 approved of same-sex marriage, up from 27 percent in 1996. In June 2013, the Supreme Court struck down the parts of DOMA that denied federal benefits to same-sex couples. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because of his religious beliefs, violating the state’s civil rights law.Support for same-sex marriage is weaker in Eastern Europe.A 2017 Pew Research Center poll found that support for legal recognition of same-sex marriage is 16 percent in Belarus and just 9 percent in Ukraine.