Yesterday was the brilliant, if not slightly delayed, announcement that FINALLY Australia has legalised same-sex marriage. It may have taken years of inequality, a fuck tonne of campaigning on both sides, marches, rallies, pleas, debates and then a nationwide postal survey so everyone in the country had their chance to have their say on the topic.
Once the country (thankfully) voted YES in a landslide result, the responsibility was handed over to the politicians to debate and vote on the topic—both in the House of Representatives and in the Senate. Luckily, (most of) the politicians voted in agreement of what Australia chose, and same-sex marriage was finally made legal on December 7, 2017.
It was a long road for Australia, but we were massive behind a lot of other countries who brought in marriage equality a while back. Here are all the countries that have legalised same-sex marriage, so far:
2000 = Netherlands
2003 = Belgium
2005 = Canada, Spain
2006 = South Africa
2008 = Norway
2009 = Mexico, Sweden
2010 = Iceland, Portugal, Argentina,
2011 = Denmark
2013 = Uruguay, New Zealand, France, Brazil
2014 = United Kingdom, Luxembourg
2015 = Finland, Ireland, United States
2016 = Colombia, Germany, Malta, Australia
Though it's great that these nations are on board, it does mean that every other country that isn't included in this list does not have legalised same-sex marriage — working at around 72 countries that don't have marriage equality. However, there are varying degrees of what is and isn't accepted in these 72 countries.
On a depressing note, there are actually still 72 countries across the world where not just same-sex marriage is illegal, but homosexuality as a whole is illegal. In fact in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria, Iraq, all implement the death penalty as a punishment for same-sex sexual acts.
However, here are some countries that still haven't legally recognised same-sex marriage as equal to that of heterosexual marriages.
Though the country may be known for its metrosexual men, and its main cities — like Rome and Milan — have a healthy gay scene, same-sex marriage is still not legalised. This is mainly because of the heavy influence that the Catholic Church holds in Italy.
However, in 2016, Italy did pass a civil-union law, meaning a same-sex couple can be legally bound to a certain extent, but it is not legally on par with heterosexual marriage, especially when it comes to adoption.
Israel may be the most gay-friendly country in the Middle East — having anti-discrimination laws with regards to LGBTQI+ employees in the workplace, homosexuals can serve in the military (which is actually kind of rare) and the government spent nearly $4 million to promote LGBTQI+ equality.
However, partially due to the powerful Jewish minority has blocked a lot of marriage equality movements, stopping same-sex couples from getting hitched.
A federal marriage-equality bill was shot down by congress in Mexico in 2016 after some nasty homophobic protests around the country.
Though being a popular gay travel destination, the Greek Orthodox Church has repeatedly shut down marriage equality.
Civil unions were introduced in 2015, but before that (in 2008) the mayor of Tilos married two same-sex couples. There was a massive backlash from the church after the ceremonies, which eventually pushed a motion for those two 'marriages' to be annulled.
Despite being one of the most socially progressive nations in the whole wide world, Switzerland still does not recognise same-sex marriage. Again, civil unions were initiated in 2007, but same-sex couples cannot legally adopt children together and there are lots of inequalities with regards to tax and social-security benefits that same-sex civil union couples can't enjoy whilst heterosexual married couples can.
Main image from Same Love Photography