See a timeline highlighting changes in state policies from In addition, the law leaves it up to other religious groups to determine whether or not to allow same-sex weddings in its churches. The Lutheran-affiliated Church of Sweden, to which roughly three-quarters of all Swedes belong, has offered blessings for same-sex partnerships since January A Pew Research Center study on the global religious landscape as of found that roughly four-in-ten Uruguayans are unaffiliated with a particular religion. Finland becomes the last of the five Nordic countries to legalize same-sex marriage, joining Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The high court ruled that the lower court judges lacked legal standing to bring the suits.
The new law allows for religious institutions and civil officers to refuse to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies, a provision that critics claim violates the rights of same-sex couples under the constitution. In , the parliament also granted same-sex partners the right to adopt children. About 58 percent of Uruguayans are Christian; in the Latin America-Caribbean region as a whole, 90 percent of the population is Christian. The new law in England and Wales, which was a priority for British Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader David Cameron, allowed gay and lesbian couples to marry beginning March 29, Iceland A measure legalizing same-sex marriage passed the Icelandic legislature in June In , the Canadian Parliament passed legislation making same-sex marriage legal nationwide. The day before, the measure had won final passage in the British Parliament after months of debate. The Netherlands In December , the Netherlands became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage when the Dutch parliament passed, by a three-to-one margin, a landmark bill allowing the practice. Before the ruling, 36 states and the District of Columbia had legalized same-sex marriage. New Zealand On April 17, the New Zealand Parliament gave final approval to a measure that legalizes same-sex marriage, making the Pacific island nation the 13th country in the world and the first in the Asia-Pacific region to allow gays and lesbians to wed. Belgium Beginning in , the Belgian parliament offered limited rights to same-sex couples through registered partnerships. The measure not only legalizes same-sex marriage but also allows for gay and lesbian couples to adopt children. In , Denmark became the first country to allow same-sex couples to register as domestic partners. A decade later, the parliament passed a measure allowing gay couples to adopt children. Same-sex couples could register with a city clerk and formally assume joint responsibility for a household. A Pew Research Center study on the global religious landscape as of found that roughly four-in-ten Uruguayans are unaffiliated with a particular religion. With the legalization of gay marriage, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark which is the state church , is required to allow same-sex couples to marry in churches. Gay couples in Sweden had been allowed to register for civil unions since Argentina In July , Argentina became the first country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage. The new law, which was passed in , replaced a law permitting civil unions. The law grants same-sex couples who marry all the rights and responsibilities enjoyed by heterosexual couples, including the right to adopt children. The high court ruled that the lower court judges lacked legal standing to bring the suits. Spain A closely divided Spanish parliament legalized same-sex marriage in , guaranteeing identical rights to all married couples regardless of sexual orientation. Along with New Zealand, Australia became the second country in the Asia-Pacific region to to make same-sex marriage legal. And in , the country enacted a law allowing gay couples in registered partnerships the right to adopt children.
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