Which Country Was First To Legalize Marriage Equality?

Two gay men celebrate their wedding
(stock photo via Depositphotos)

Four years ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its historic ruling, Obergefell v. Hodges, which made same-sex marriage legal across the entire United States.

In light of the happy occasion, we thought it would be a good idea to take a look back at how marriage equality has spread across the globe. Currently, 30 countries have legalized same-sex marriage.

The first country to legally embrace marriage equality was The Netherlands on September 12, 2000. On April 1, 2001, the day the law went into effect, the world watched as four same-sex couples exchanged marriage vows in a ceremony officiated by the mayor of Amsterdam.

(image via ABC News)

In July 2010, Argentina led the way in South America after several cities including Buenos Aires had allowed gays and lesbians to enter into civil unions.

While Denmark made marriage equality legal in 2102, it’s worth noting they were the first country in the world to recognize same-sex couples as domestic partners.

In 2015, Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage via popular vote. Until then, other countries came to marriage equality via court ruling or legislation,

Last month, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize marriage equality.

And on June 12, Ecuador became the most recent addition to countries embrace same-sex marriage.

Here are the 30 countries that have legalized same-sex marriage in chronological order:

The Netherlands
Belgium
Spain
Canada
South Africa
Norway
Sweden
Argentina
Portugal
Iceland
Denmark
Uruguay
Brazil
New Zealand
England
Wales
France
Luxembourg
Scotland
United States
Ireland
Finland
Greenland
Colombia
Malta
Australia
Germany
Austria
Taiwan
Ecuador

(Source: ABC News)

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