There are plenty of advocacy organisations worldwide whose goal is to achieve equality, especially marriage equality, for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) people in a country through the extension of civil marriage rights to same-sex couples. The overall end aim is to allow same sex couples, their families and their children enjoy equality.
Civil Marriage Equality Referendums and Laws
Winning social issue referenda is not easy. Across the globe, more often than not, referenda restrict civil marriage rights rather than expand them. The only two European referenda on LGBT relationships, in Slovenia and Croatia, both restricted partnership rights for gay and lesbian couples.
Ireland is on the brink of major social change with an equal marriage referendum scheduled for 2015. Ireland will be the first country in the world where equal civil marriage rights will be put to a popular vote. A winning referendum will show that progress is possible in a country that only 20 years ago decriminalised homosexuality.
In the U.S, same-sex couples have the freedom to marry once and for all in 37 states . Additionally, same-sex couples can also marry in some Kansas counties but is not recognised statewide. Missouri only acknowledges same-sex marriage in St.Louis. Some of the remaining states have appealed decisions and are awaiting the rulings from their respective Supreme Courts.
More countries that have legalised same-sex marriage are listed below – although some have technicalities and Slovenia’s decisions has yet to come into effect.
Argentina,Belgium,Brazil,Canada,Denmark,Finland,France,Iceland,Luxembourg,Mexico(certain areas),Netherlands,New Zealand,Norway,Portugal,South Africa,Slovenia,Spain,Sweden and the United Kingdom(England,Scotland,Wales).
Since 1994 Australian has been moving towards same-sex marriage by submitting bills, creating amendments and just making progress. However some Australian regions passed a marriage bill in 2013 which has since been nullified – as a result it has reverted back to only acknowledging same-sex partnerships.
As already mentioned South Africa has passed laws, however North,East and West Africa are behind the times. Sexual activity is allowed in some areas(some places have never had any laws against same’sex sexual activity) but in the majority of regions it is illegal and will result in jail time, fines and possible death penalties. Small numbers of regions have passed laws in the past few years.
Across the globe, most places are making progression towards global same-sex marriage equality. Although it is challenging and has taken too long, it can be said that the 20th and 21st centuries are paving the way for the future of the LGBTQ community.
Categories: Marriage Equality