Infographic: Countries Which Have Legalised and Criminalised Same-Sex Marriages

Infographic Map: Which countries have legalised gay marriages and which countries have criminalised same-sex union

2 min read
Hindi Female

Creative Producer: Naman Shah

After the Supreme Court of India ruled against the legalisation of same-sex marriages, we check what are the legalities surrounding same-sex marriages in different countries across the world.

See in this infographic map

How Many Countries Recognise Same-Sex Marriages

Only 34 countries have given legal recognition to same-sex marriages around the world, according to the international advocacy organisation Human Rights Watch.

Among these, The Netherlands was the first country in the world to legally recognise same-sex marriages in 2001. Belgium followed the suit two years laters and legalised same-sex marriages in 2003.

Canada was the first non-European country to allow same-sex marriages in 2005. South Africa was the first African nation to recognise same-sex marriages in 2006.

In 2010, Argentina became the first nation to legalise gay marriages in South America.

The infographic map visibly shows that more countries in North and South America, Europe and Oceania have given legal recognition to same-sex marriages.

While the countries that have criminalised same-sex unions mostly fall in the continents of Africa and Asia.


Continents That Criminalise Same-Sex Union

Rejecting the relationships of same-sex couples, several countries have banned queer unions. These bans mean that same-sex couples in such countries may face criminal trials or penalisations.

At least 64 countries have laws criminalising same-sex relations between consenting adults.

Among the countries that have criminalised same-sex unions, include Saudi Arania, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Egypt, Guyana, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, etc.

Countries That Recognise Same-Sex Unions But Do Not Recognise Same-Sex Marriages

Today's Supreme Court judgement brough India in the category of the countries that recognise same-sex unions but do not legally recognise their marriages. Indian apex court, in 2018, had struck down the colonial law that criminalised the sexual relationships between same-sex couples.

Similar to India, countries like Italy and Croatia have recognised civil unions of same-sex couples but not marriages. Unregistered cohabitation of gay couples is possible in Poland, China and Israel.

More Countries Allowing Same-Sex Marriages With Time

After The Netherlands became the first country to legalise same-sex marriages in 2001, three other countries followed it by 2005.

By 2010, there were 10 countries in the world that gave legal recognistion to same-sex marriages.

In the next five years, i.e. by 2015, the countries that allowed same sex-marriages grew to 19.

By 2020, nine more countries legalised same-sex marriages. In 2022, five more countries joined the list.

Several other countries' position on same-sex union could not be determined.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)


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Topics:  Same-sex marriage 

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