Countries Where Gay Marriage Is Legal 2019

For many years, same-sex marriage has been a hot topic of endless debate. Supporters of same-sex marriage say that a relationship and subsequent marriage between two people of the same sex is natural and normal. These supporters believe that a person does not choose to be gay and is instead born this way. Supporters also say that same-sex couples are just as capable as heterosexual couples when it comes to getting married, living together, and raising children.

On the flip side, there are people that are against gay marriage. These people may have religious beliefs that tell them this is wrong. Others say that same-sex relationships and marriage is abnormal and can have negative effects on children that are raised in a same-sex household. Studies have shown that many of these beliefs are untrue.

However, there are still nations around the world that outright ban gay marriage. Even if a wedding ceremony is performed, these couples are not recognized by the government as legally married. Not every country in the world is involved in the conversation surrounding gay marriage, but a large percentage of the world’s nations have either legalized same-sex marriage, permitted gay marriage in certain parts of the country, allows civil unions between individuals of the same sex, or actively restricts gay marriage.

The eighty-eight countries that fall into one of these four categories include...

Of these eighty-eight countries, the number of countries that have legalized gay marriage is a total of twenty-four nations. The countries where gay marriage is legal include…

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Colombia
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • The Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • The United States of America
  • Uruguay

In 2001, the Netherlands became the very first country to ever legalize gay marriage. That was only eighteen years ago, meaning that the legalization of gay marriage is an up-and-coming change in the world as of less than two decades ago. After the Netherlands started to allow same-sex couples to be recognized as legally married, many other countries around the world started to follow suit. Here are the nations that have already legalized gay marriage, followed by the respective years in which same-sex marriages became legal.

  • Belgium in 2003
  • Spain in 2005
  • Canada in 2005
  • South Africa in 2006
  • Norway in 2009
  • Sweden in 2009
  • Portugal in 2010
  • Iceland in 2010
  • Argentina in 2010
  • Denmark in 2012
  • Brazil in 2013
  • France in 2013
  • Uruguay in 2013
  • New Zealand in 2013
  • The United Kingdom in 2014
  • Luxembourg in 2015
  • The United States of America in 2015
  • Ireland in 2015
  • Colombia in 2016
  • Finland in 2017
  • Malta in 2017
  • Germany in 2017
  • Australia in 2017
  • Austria in 2019

Most nations are very firm in their outlook regarding gay marriage. Since the topic is so controversial, people are very divided on their opinions on the matter. For the most part, countries are either for or against gay marriage. However, a couple of countries have not completely legalized gay marriage all throughout the nation, with same-sex couples only being able to get married in certain areas of said countries.

There are only two countries that have not fully legalized gay marriage but have allowed same-sex couples to be wed in certain regions within the country. The nations that permit gay marriage in certain places are…

  • Mexico
  • The United Kingdom

There are twelve Mexican states that allow gay marriage to take place. Along with the Mexican city of Mexico City, the following cities have legalized gay marriage. They are listed in chronological order, followed by the year during which said countries legalized gay marriage.

  • Quintana Roo in 2012
  • Coahuila in 2014
  • Chihuahua in 2015
  • Nayarit in 2015
  • Jalisco in 2016
  • Campeche in 2016
  • Colima in 2016
  • Michoacan in 2016
  • Morelos in 2016
  • Chiapas in 2017
  • Puebla in 2017
  • Baja California in 2017
  • Nuevo León in 2019
  • Aguascalientes in 2019

The number of countries that do not recognize same-sex couples are married, but rather, as having civil unions and partnerships, amounts to eleven nations. These countries include…

  • Chile
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • The Czech Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Estonia
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Slovenia
  • Switzerland

The number of countries that have not legalized gay marriage outweighs the number of countries that do, which could take a turn in the opposite direction as nations progress over time. Until then, the following countries currently do not condone gay marriage…

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Singapore

On a smaller scale, a handful of dependent territories have been outspoken about their perspectives on gay marriage. The territories of Bermuda, the Faroe Islands, Guam, and Puerto Rico have legalized gay marriage. Northern Ireland is another dependent territory with an opinion of the matter. This location does not dismiss the rights of same-sex couples entirely, but these couples are not recognized as legally married in Northern Island. Instead of marriage, Northern Island permits same-sex couples to register as domestic partners and legally recognized arrangements otherwise called civil unions.

Some countries are so adamant about not legalizing gay marriage that they criminalize homosexuality to the full extent of the law. For example, in Africa, the majority of the countries do not permit the expression of sexuality beyond heterosexuality. If you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community while residing in many African countries, you could face imprisonment up to a full life sentence.

In the most extreme situations, you might be facing the death penalty, simply for being homosexual. The same is true in many Asian countries and a few eastern European nations. Russia is an example of a nation that does not necessarily criminalize same-sex couples, but the government places serious restrictions on people who are gay, which is still a way of censoring relationships that are not heterosexual.

Rank Flag Name Population 2019 Area Area (mi²) % of Earth's Area Growth Rate Region Subregion
1United States329,064,9179,372,610 km²3,617,827 mi²6.31%0.60%AmericasNorthern America
2Brazil211,049,5278,515,767 km²3,287,086 mi²5.74%0.75%AmericasSouth America
3Mexico127,575,5291,964,375 km²758,249 mi²1.32%1.10%AmericasCentral America
4Germany83,517,045357,114 km²137,846 mi²0.24%0.47%EuropeWestern Europe
5United Kingdom67,530,172242,900 km²93,759 mi²0.16%0.58%EuropeNorthern Europe
6France65,129,728551,695 km²212,954 mi²0.37%0.21%EuropeWestern Europe
7South Africa58,558,2701,221,037 km²471,320 mi²0.82%1.33%AfricaSouthern Africa
8Colombia50,339,4431,141,748 km²440,715 mi²0.77%1.37%AmericasSouth America
9Spain46,736,776505,992 km²195,313 mi²0.34%0.09%EuropeSouthern Europe
10Argentina44,780,6772,780,400 km²1,073,234 mi²1.87%0.95%AmericasSouth America
11Canada37,411,0479,984,670 km²3,854,083 mi²6.73%0.91%AmericasNorthern America
12Australia25,203,1987,692,024 km²2,969,121 mi²5.18%1.23%OceaniaAustralia and New Zealand
13Netherlands17,097,13041,850 km²16,154 mi²< 0.1%0.22%EuropeWestern Europe
14Belgium11,539,32830,528 km²11,784 mi²< 0.1%0.50%EuropeWestern Europe
15Portugal10,226,18792,090 km²35,547 mi²< 0.1%-0.29%EuropeSouthern Europe
16Sweden10,036,379450,295 km²173,814 mi²0.30%0.65%EuropeNorthern Europe
17Denmark5,771,87643,094 km²16,634 mi²< 0.1%0.34%EuropeNorthern Europe
18Finland5,532,156338,424 km²130,632 mi²0.23%0.17%EuropeNorthern Europe
19Norway5,378,857323,802 km²124,988 mi²0.22%0.77%EuropeNorthern Europe
20Ireland4,882,49570,273 km²27,125 mi²< 0.1%1.32%EuropeNorthern Europe
21New Zealand4,783,063270,467 km²104,400 mi²0.18%0.84%OceaniaAustralia and New Zealand
22Uruguay3,461,734181,034 km²69,879 mi²0.12%0.36%AmericasSouth America
23Luxembourg615,7292,586 km²998 mi²< 0.1%1.90%EuropeWestern Europe
24Malta440,372316 km²122 mi²< 0.1%0.26%EuropeSouthern Europe
25Iceland339,031103,000 km²39,758 mi²< 0.1%0.69%EuropeNorthern Europe